A growing trend in residential development sees twice as many apartments sold in Ireland last year.

A report published by Dublin auctioneer Hooke & MacDonald indicates a continuing trend towards apartment living.

Most purpose built apartments are in Dublin and last year just one in fifty apartments built in Ireland were located outside Dublin.

Prices range from about £30,000 for studios upwards to £200,000 for penthouses.

Foreigners and farmers are said to be particularly keen on properties at the top end of the market.

717 apartments were sold in 1981 up from 407 in 1980. Nearly three quarters of these were two bedroom apartments and the average size has dropped to between four and eight hundred square feet.

The report predicts that more than 12,000 units will be sold during the 1980s. Builders are preparing to meet the increasing demand for apartments with developments like the £12 million Merrion Village scheme in Dublin. Flats in this complex have the use of a swimming pool, sauna, tennis court and a full security system. They range in price up to £175,000 and are reportedly selling well.

Apartments in a purpose built block near Baggot Street bridge range from £27,000 for a single room up to £50,000.

The report said the boom in apartment sales will provide around eight thousand jobs by next year.

However, the report also says that construction would have to be stepped up significantly to meet current demand and to avoid a serious accommodation crisis.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 5 February 1982. The reporter is Kieran Wood.