Three out of four first-time buyers say they have enough money to pay a deposit on a home – and half say they plan to buy a property in the next 12 months, according to a new survey from MyHome.ie.
It also found that one-third of first-time buyers already have mortgage approval.
However, like homeowners quizzed in the survey, most expect to see house prices fall further in 2012.
Nearly three-quarters don’t think prices will drop dramatically: 37% think they may fall by between 5% and 10%, and 34% think they’ll fall by 1% to 5%. (Another 20% believe prices will fall by 10% to 15%).
Only one-fifth of people who already own property are planning to buy again in 2012.
The survey of 1,792 people – of which 1,276 were homeowners and the rest first-time buyers, carried out in the second week in February – showed that over half did not believe that financial institutions are lending.
Sixty-five per cent of homeowners believe institutions are not lending, with 43 per cent of these believing that the institutions are over-regulated or over-cautious when granting mortgage approval.
But 52%of first-time buyers think institutions are lending. Some of them – 38% – believe institutions are over-regulated, with the same percentage saying they are over-cautious.
Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, said the findings showed that availability of mortgage finance and consumer confidence were the key factors influencing participation in the housing market.
“Availability of finance was the number one factor for first-time buyers and was also in the top three for existing homeowners. The fact that so many respondents believe the institutions are over regulated or over-cautious reflects the widespread frustration felt by prospective buyers of being locked out of the market. Unless access to finance is freed up the level of transactions will remain at low levels.”
People’s belief that prices won’t fall dramatically this year might help explain why so many were still planning to buy in the next 12 months, said Keegan.
“First-time buyers monitor the market very closely and while most of them believe prices look set to fall by up to 10%, many may well be factoring in mortgage interest relief measures announced in the Budget.”
The survey shows that the three-bed semi-detached remains the house of choice for prospective buyers.