Westmeath market varies according to house size
Westmeath has one of the most segmented property markets in Leinster. While its three and four-bedroom homes are among the cheapest in the province, its two and five-bedroom homes are among the dearest.
According to the latest Daft survey, average home prices in the county fell by 2.8pc in the third quarter of this year to an average of €133,768 and three-bedroom homes fell 7.6pc to €110,000.
This places both categories ninth in the league of Leinster counties ahead of only Longford and Laois. Four-bedroom houses are ranked 10th in the Leinster price league at €157,000.
In contrast, two-bedroom homes are asking an average of €93,000 which places them joint fourth highest along with Co Louth. Five-bedroom properties are asking €257,000 which is fifth most expensive of the 11 counties outside Dublin.
The number of households occupied by residents in Westmeath increased by 13.9pc to 30,624 between the time of the census in 2006 and that in 2011.
A further 4,921 dwellings, or 13.4pc of county's stock, are vacant and this is a higher vacancy rate than Leinster's average of 10.3pc but lower than the national average of 14.5pc. Holiday homes accounted for 300 of the vacant units.
The home ownership rate in the county in 2011 was 71.8pc, which is higher than the national average of 69.7pc. A further 8,175 households or 26.7pc are living in rented accommodation.
The number of households living in apartments amounted to 2,290 or 7.4pc of occupied households, which is only half the Leinster average for apartment households. A further 1,141 apartments are vacant.
The number of dwellings that were owned through an existing mortgage or loan stood at 11,385 in 2011, compared to 11,631 in 2006, and considering that the number of households increased by 3,700, these figures suggest that a significant number of home owners have paid off their mortgages.
On the other hand about 1,194 households were headed by an unemployed person, representing 10.5pc of all homes with a loan or mortgage in the county.