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There are 70,000 people looking to buy houses - but not enough houses to buy

Which will surprise nobody who is looking to buy a house.

Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THERE IS MORE demand than supply when it comes to homes, which will surprise nobody who is looking to buy a house.

The KBC Homebuyer Sentiment survey released today shows that there are fewer houses available than buyers.

The survey finds a strong pipe-line of demand is now emerging as depressed home sales in recent years means many people were stuck in accommodation that didn’t suit their needs.

The survey suggests only half (49%) of Irish consumers are entirely content with their current housing circumstances. Another fifth (23%) are not in a position to contemplate home-buying, but about one in four (28%) is now at least considering buying a home in the next two years with roughly half of these already planning their purchase.

The bank says that housing transactions through the past seven years have fallen about 40,000 – 50,000 short on average of what might be considered healthy. They say that demand could reach 300,000 in the coming two years, with 70,000 ready and able customers out there already.

Of those now able and willing to buy, roughly equal numbers are first-time buyers (38%) and movers (38%), with demand from investors (23%) accounting for a smaller proportion.

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist KBC Bank Ireland, who analysed the research, said: “To properly understand what’s happening in the Irish property market today, we need to look at what is happening to demand as well as clearly inadequate supply.

“The survey suggests a pipeline of unsatisfied demand is building both because of new entrants to the property market and because many existing households face a significant mismatch between their current accommodation and the housing they need.

“In turn, this suggests the current pressures on housing may be even greater than is often suggested.”

The study was carried out by Ignite Research in January 2017 and included a total sample of 2,000 people, including 556 home buyers.

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