One in four Irish consumers are thinking about buying a new home

Only 49% of Irish consumers are content with the property they're living in

A new study has found that one in four Irish consumers are thinking of buying a home in the next two years.

Research from KBC Bank Ireland found that only half (49%) of Irish consumers are entirely content with the property which they are living in.

Of the 28% of customers who are thinking of buying a home in the next two years, half are already planning their purchase.

It suggests that as many as 300,000 people are looking to buy, while an estimated 70,000 are ’able and willing’ to purchase a home. Only less than 48,000 transactions took place in 2016.

Of the group who are ready to buy, 38% are first-time buyers, 38% are movers, and 23% are investors.

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist KBC Bank Ireland, commented: "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 KBC homebuyer 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," he added.

KBC notes that there is little evidence of a 'buyer frenzy' and that would-be purchasers are cautious about their own household finances and the outlook for the broader economy.

It states that an increase in interest from first-time buyers may be the result of greater confidence in the economic outlook and could also reflect improved access to credit - as well as the effect of the Governments help to buy scheme and the easing of the Central Bank’s lending limits.

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