Wexford house prices still rising but ‘bidding wars’ becoming less prevalent

Brief trend of house prices sliding back in Dublin has stalled

Simon BourkeWexford People

After a period of unprecedented increases house prices in Wexford look to be finally stabilising. Although still on the rise the average price of a house in the county only rose by 1 per cent over the past three months, a far cry from the double-digit increases witnessed over the past 18 months. According to the latest national survey by Real Estate Alliance (REA) a second-hand, three-bed semi in Co Wexford now costs €252,500, up from €250,000 in December 2022.

Across the county, first-time buyers made up 30 per cent of the market during the first three months of the year with 35 per cent of buyers coming from the urban centres. The average time taken to complete a sale in the county is four weeks, the same as the previous quarter, the survey shows.

In Wexford town, the average cost of a three-bed semi is now €237,500, up 1.06 per cent from €235,000 in the previous quarter, while the time to sell dropped one week to three. The average cost of a similar property in Gorey is now €267,500, up 0.94 per cent from the previous quarter; while the time to sell fell one week to four.

“The start of 2023 has been very busy across Wexford, with good demand for all property types across the county,” said Winston Halnon of REA Halnon Humphreys, Gorey. “It is noticeable in the early part of the year how there is a preference among buyers for properties with little work to be done and that are in walk-in condition. This may be down to the price of materials and tradespeople or perhaps buyers are just far more time conscious.”

Although the number of people bidding on houses appears to be falling, the prices have not yet done the same according to Mr Halnon.

“Bidding wars have become less prevalent with the odd exception. Most properties are going sale agreed quite quickly and in a lot of cases with just one bidder. The amount of viewers may be less than previous years, however, the end result is much the same. Ex-rental properties continue to make up a lot of the stock for sale, which is a trend that hopefully is on the wane.”

Across the rest of Ireland, the actual selling price of a three-bedroomed semi-detached rose by 0.6 per cent over the past three months to €293,343 – representing an annual increase of 5.3 per cent. House prices in Dublin recovered after a pre-Christmas fall and rose by 0.5 per cent to €498,333 in the past three months, slightly exceeding last September’s prices and showing an annual rise of 3.5 per cent.

Mirroring the capital, cities outside Dublin experienced a 0.4 per cent rise to an average selling price of €310,250. Nationally, first-time purchasers make up 60% of the market, the quarterly survey has found.