First-time buyers respond to lower house prices


First-time buyers respond to lower house prices

  • Falling prices the main factor affecting buyer decisions
  • 40% say they would consider switching mortgages

1 out of 2 respondents to a online survey of its visitors say they intend to purchase a property within the next 12 months. The survey of just over 1,000 site visitors shows that falling house prices remains the key factor influencing the decision to buy with ‘availability of suitable property’ and ‘overall economic conditions’ cited as the next most important factors. First-time buyers are showing keen interest to buy making up more than 40% of the ‘intend to buy’ group.

Buyer’s status as regards mortgage approval and capacity to pay a deposit was also looked at in the survey. 30% of those who intend to buy say that have got mortgage approval while another 24% say they are currently seeking mortgage approval. Among that group who have either got or who have applied for mortgage approval, 83% say that they have the funds in place to pay a deposit. The majority say they are funding the deposit from savings with just 5% getting help with the deposit from family or friends and another 4% securing the deposit from a bank or credit union loan.

Commenting on the key findings of the survey, Angela Keegan, Chief Operations Officer of said: “The results of the survey clearly show that there is serious underlying demand from first-time buyers with potential purchasers now responding to prices that are as much as 50% lower than peak levels. Those with access to funds are now seeking to do deals. The reduction in mortgage interest rates over the last number of months coupled with lower prices means that affordability has greatly improved for this key group of buyers.”

While the overall level of properties available on the market is at an historically high level, the number of properties available for sale in some of the more established residential areas of Dublin is now very low as some potential sellers hold back in the current uncertain market conditions. The underlying level of demand in the market remains strong as indicated by the continuing growth in visitor activity on In January to March 2009, there was a significant growth in site traffic with over half a million individuals per month completing property searches on the site. This, in addition to the key findings of the survey, indicates that there is a substantial body of buyers in the market ready to buy.

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