Those who told us back in April we'd have the cheapest house prices in a decade by Christmas, thanks to Covid-19, might be feeling a bit stupid now. Who would have thought the spread of this frightening contagion could actually cause house prices to increase, albeit slightly?
Unfortunately we'll have to wait a bit longer for those cheap houses.
To understand what has been happening, first consider that most of those whose jobs are affected by Covid-19 are generally working in lower-paid sectors like catering, retail and hospitality.
They were long ago priced out of buying a property or knocked off the ladder by the introduction of a stricter lending regime some years ago which has favoured condemning more people to a life in rental for the sake of overall economic security for Ireland Inc.
So the fortunes of house prices are tied to those higher up the payscale, as they were before Covid-19 broke out.
What we have been seeing lately is an urgency among potential buyers with mortgage approval, scrambling to secure that first rung on the ladder before the banks have a change of heart and start pulling that ladder up out of reach.
Those who had been humming and hawing over three or four different properties, have suddenly seen one sold, then the other to buyers just like them.
Now they are throwing caution to the wind and being far less choosy and more competitive with their bidding. As supply tightens, they are driving prices up, or at least holding them firm amidst a developing recession.
The next factor is the reluctant vendor. Why, right now, would you want to have loads of complete strangers wander through your home touching everything?
So many who planned to move this year have postponed selling up. Fewer homes to market with more frantic buyers chasing equals inflation. For now.
And while the numbers of new house schemes coming up for sale haven't been affected as much as might have been expected, there have been delays. Fewer new homes tightens supply further.
There is a concern among estate agents that all this is obviously economically unnatural and the market is being distorted. When the present stock dries up, they fear a worsening shortage that would ultimately push prices up even more in the very short term.
But ever looming in the background is the shadow of Covid-19 and the economic damage it is causing. With a second wave now apparently well under way, hopes Ireland's businesses would get out relatively unscathed are fading. And a global recession would certainly have an impact on the incomes and prospects of lucky middle and high earners who can afford to buy city homes.
In a lasting global downturn, property prices will certainly fall here in the long run.
The cheapest houses by Christmas 2021? Perhaps. Ironically it would be the shortage caused through our long-running housing crisis that would help buffer such a price slide.
But perhaps the biggest change of all to become apparent in the Irish Independent/REA Price Index survey is the first sign of a truly new trend taking hold which could ultimately lead to a steady, slow and much longer-term fall in the values of our city homes long after Covid has vanished.
With improved broadband rolling out nationwide, those who have had to be based for work in Dublin, Cork city and Galway city and who aren't native to those cities are beginning to move back home to where they are from. According to our survey, most of them are buying in rural locations and regional towns.
If Covid-19 vanished overnight, would we all be spilling back into our centralised office blocks tomorrow? Some would for sure. But for others, and for their employers, the pandemic has brought the realisation that the day truly is here to work from home.
The technology has been here for a while, but it took Covid-19 to give us a live run-through of what it can do.
It has shown us that we really can live and work where we want, whilst employed by city-based businesses at a distance.
That we can live and work in scenic locations with amenities, without hours of commuting, without suits and ties, and most of all (as rural buyers in our survey show) without the 30-year weight around your neck of a mighty city mortgage pulling you down.