Homebuyer demand strong and set to increase further suggests KBC’s homebuyer sentiment survey


Today KBC Bank Ireland released the findings of its third homebuyer sentiment survey.

The results find that a growing number of people are considering property purchase as their personal circumstances change and confidence in the Irish economy improves. As a result, the number of homebuyers is expected to run ahead of any improvement in property supply in the next year or two.

  • The number of people looking to purchase a new  home is growing and may well outpace the expected rise in new home building in the next two years
  • There are currently 110,000 ‘ready and willing’ home-buyers  in the market which is twice the number of property sales in the past twelve months
  • ‘Movers’ account for a significant element of the pick-up in purchasing plans. The share of people looking to move house in the home buying market is now 36% of all intending purchasers, up from 32% in KBC’s last survey in April
  • The survey highlights that ‘Natural’ demand from those who have reached house buying age or whose family size has changed is the dominant driver of the increase in prospective homebuyers but some also see rising prices as a key influence; 37% of first time buyers indicated they had reached a stage in life where they wanted to purchase, 27% of movers highlighted changes in family size while 13% of non-investors emphasised expectations of future price increases
  • Current market pressures mean home-buyers are far from confident they will succeed in buying their dream home; almost half (47%) of buyers would consider buying more than 10km away from their ideal location
  • Separately, just 38% expect to get the home they want, 44% expect to have to make significant compromises and the remaining 18% are unsure or unlikely to find the property they want.  

Darragh Lennon, Director of Products, KBC Bank Ireland said; “The shortfall in property transactions in recent years means that a number of people are in accommodation that no longer fits their current or future needs. The survey highlights that demand will remain robust as improved economic conditions, high rents and expectations of further increases in house prices are all encouraging more people to begin to think about buying a home. The results are in line with what we are seeing from our customers and in particular there is strong interest for our new market leading 10 year fixed interest rates.”

Darragh also indicated “As a result, of a widening imbalance between buyers and housing available , the survey  finds most buyers are willing to make significant compromises about where and what they will buy, while one in five feel unsure or think it is unlikely they will find the property they want within the next two years. To address some of those topics, last week KBC hosted a home experience event in association with Daft.ie and The Journal where more than 300 people attended to find out the range of options available in the present market.“

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist, KBC Bank Ireland who analysed the research noted; “The results of this homebuyer sentiment survey imply that for every property that changed hands in the past twelve months there are now two ready and willing buyers. It also shows that the current ‘swell’ we are seeing in housing demand is also boosting property inflation even though new housing supply is increasing.“