Listed property prices in coastal hotspots jumped by almost a quarter during the pandemic, a new study has revealed.
Asking prices in coastal areas, with high levels of amenities and where one-in-ten properties are holiday homes, increased by 22.9% since the start of the pandemic.
The average listed price of coastal properties in these areas was €182,000, but is now €224,500.
Nationally, property prices increased by 8.6%.
"We find clear evidence that echoes anecdotes that the price of coastal property has been on the increase since the onset of the pandemic," environmental economist and house price analyst Dr Tom Gillespie, who is the author of the Daft.ie 'Coastal Report', told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.
The ‘Daft.ie Coastal Report, an analysis of price changes in coastal properties, examined 120,000 properties listed for sale from January 2019 until April 2021.
Popular properties in coastal hotspots demanded a premium compared to properties in other parts of the country.
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This 'coastal premium' was 9.5% at the start of the pandemic. but has risen to 28.3%.
The highest increase in asking prices since the start of the pandemic was in Kilmore Quay, in Co Wexford.
The average price of three-bed homes increased by 54%.
Before the pandemic the average listed cost of a three-bed there was €149,555. Today it is €230,644.
Wexford auctioneer Brian Wallace told Morning Ireland he was not surprised by the price increase, as demand is outstripping supply.
Mr Wallace said Kilmore Quay is attractive because it has a lot of amenities, including restaurants, hiking and boating - and is close to Wexford town.
"On a day to day basis we can't find properties. A lot of agents are having the same problem," said Mr Wallace.
He added more people are moving from Dublin to rural areas in Wexford because remote working has become a possibility during the pandemic.
Local Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Sheehan said rising prices and demand for property were putting pressure on local housing needs.
"This creates problems for us as we are doing county development plans where we try and balance the need of the environment with the need of the economy and our desire to have people living in their own localities," Cllr Sheehan told Morning Ireland.
Dunmore East in Waterford saw a 51% increase, Lahinch in Clare and the Renvyle/Letterfrack in Galway saw jumps of 39%, and Schull in west Cork saw an increase of nearly 34%.
The research by Dr Gillespie, an environmental economist and a house price analyst, also showed property searches in coastal areas increased by 45%, while Dublin property searches dropped by as much as 59% in some areas.
The research also showed the difference between the list price and final transaction price in coastal areas is almost double when compared to the national average, 2.6% compared to 1.4%.
"Lockdowns and resulting remote working have led to a heightened appreciation of the environment around us and the realisation that the trade-off between being close to work and being close to nature may be changing - in favour of the latter," said Dr Gillespie.
"In particular, we see an effect on properties that are not just within 500 metres of the coast of Ireland but in areas where more than 10% of the total stock of housing are holiday homes. This latter feature identifies those parts of the coast that are well established in terms of coastal amenities, including beaches."
Trinity economist and Daft report author Ronan Lyons told Morning Ireland it remains to be seen if property price increases will remain or return to 2019 levels.
"One of the open questions now is whether the increase we have seen across the country since the outbreak of Covid-19 is a permanent increase or whether it is just a temporary blip and we go back to the prices as they were in 2019 when trends were largely stable."
The analysis is based on asking prices and took 120,000 properties listed for sale nationwide on the daft.ie website from January 2019 to April 2021.
"We find clear evidence that echoes those anecdotes that the price of coastal property has been on the increase since the onset of the pandemic.
"In particular, we see an effect on properties that are not just within 500 metres of the coast of Ireland but in areas where more than 10% of the total stock of housing are holiday homes," said Dr Gillespie.
"This report is based on an analysis of listed prices but, if anything, the growth has been even greater in transaction prices.
"Based on a sample of daft listings connected to the property price register, approximately one fifth of coastal properties are going for more than 10% of the asking price, approximately double the national ratio."