Property Survey Results: Autumn 2009 Property Survey Results: Autumn 2009

Key Findings

  • 52% of those surveyed are currently “monitoring the market”
  • 11% of participants were actively seeking a mortgage
  • 69% of respondents have the funds in place to pay a deposit
  • 74% of those with a deposit had saved the money themselves
  • 51% of people surveyed intend buying a property within the next twelve months
  • Falling house prices and the uncertain economic environment were the main reasons participants did not intend buying in the next year
  • 47% of buyers are searching for a 3 bedroom detached or semi- detached house
  • 11% are searching for a one or two bedroom apartment
  • 22% are searching for a newly build property.
  • 69% are looking for a property priced at €400,000 or less
  • 48% expect prices to fall by less than 10% in the next twelve months
  • 31% of participants expect prices to either remain static or rise in the next twelve months
  • 37% of participants are unsure as to the impact NAMA will have on the market
  • Specialist Property websites such as remain the favoured search method for participants in the property market

Profile of Respondents
The latest property market survey was answered by participants with some interest in the market in order to build up a better understanding of the key trends and views of participants in the current residential market. The survey was conducted nationally with over 1200 responses received. 

Gender:The gender balance was evenly split with 52% male and 48% female respondents.

Martial status:49% of respondents classed themselves as married, 25% were single, 19% were co-habiting and 3% were separated.

Interest in the Market
Participants were asked to describe their current interest in the property market.

The percentage of people currently “monitoring the market” rose by 10.5% to 52% when compared to January 2009. Those classifying themselves as first time buyers remained constant at 21% but the number of respondents who were selling a property fell sharply from 15.3% in January 2009 to 8.2% in this survey. Responses from investors remained low at approximately 7% of all respondents, the same as in January this year.

Finance and Mortgages
Participants were asked which category best described their position with regard to mortgages.

The mortgage market profile mix remained relatively constant from January to the autumn survey, except the percentage of people who had received a mortgage approval rose slightly from 14.5% in January to 17.6% in the autumn.  Less than 3% of respondents had been declined a mortgage offer after making an application. The percentage of participants actively seeking a mortgage held constant at around 11%.

Participants were asked if they had the funds available to them to pay a deposit should they need to, with 69% saying they had the funds available (up from 64% in January) whilst 31% did not currently have the funds to pay a deposit (down from 34% in January).   Of those that had funds for a deposit, 74% had saved the money, 10% received financial assistance from friends or family and a further 4% had borrowed the money from a bank or credit union.

Buyers Intentions
Participants were asked if they intended buying a property in the next twelve months with 51% saying they did intend to whilst 49% did not intend to.

Those that did not intend on purchasing a property in within the next year cited uncertain economic conditions, falling house prices and the economic outlook as the reasons why.

Buyers intending to buy
27% of those who intend on buying were intent on doing so within three months, 26% within 6 months and almost half (47%) were intent on taking their time by indicating they intended to purchase in six to twelve months time.

Types of Property
When asked what type of property they were looking to buy, 26% said a three bedroom semi detached house, 21% said a three bedroom detached house whilst 22% were intent on buying a new home or “off plan”. Only 2% were searching for a one bedroom apartment and only 9% were looking for a 2 bedroom apartment.

Price Range
69% of participants were looking to buy property priced less than €400,000 compared to 59% in January this year. A further 8% were looking in the €400,000 to €450,000 price range. Only 5.5% of participants were searching for property in excess of €750,000 compared to 8% in this category in January’s survey.

Factors Influencing Property Market Participation
Survey participants were asked to identify the most important factors influencing their participation in the residential property market at the current time. 

27% of participants cited falling house prices as the main influence on their decision making with regard to property, but perhaps more interestingly the second greatest influence was the availability of suitable property that met the individual’s requirements (23%), which ranked higher than the overall economic environment (19.5%).  10% of participants cited stamp duty as the most influential factor and a further 10% said obtaining a mortgage approval was the most influential factor in their decision to participate in the current market.

Future Price Expectations 
Participants were asked to give a view on the future direction of price movements over the next twelve months. One quarter of participants expected prices to fall slightly (by 1% to 5%) and a further 23% expected prices to fall moderately (by 5% to 10%). 14% expected prices to fall significantly from current levels (10% to 15%) and only 7% expected prices to fall by 15% or more.

Interestingly, 18% of respondents expected prices to remain static at current levels over the next twelve months a further 13% expected prices to increase slightly in the same period.  Almost half of participants expect prices to decline by less than 10%, and 30% believe that in terms of prices, the market is at the lowest point of the cycle. It is very interesting to note that more people believe prices will either remain static or actually increase than think that prices will fall by more than 10% during the course of the next year.

Impact of NAMA
Participants were asked what impact they believed the creation of the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA) would have on the property market. From the response it is clear that the jury remains out on this issue, as 37% of participants said they were not sure what the impact on the market would be. There was an even split as to whether participants believed it would have a positive or negative long term impact, with 18% believing it would have negative ramifications whilst 18% thought the creation of NAMA would have a positive impact on the market in the longer term.
A further 15% believed it would have a negative impact in the short term followed by a more positive impact in the longer term.