Upbeat savers to breathe new life into housing market

October 14, 2016
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Demand for housing in Letterkenny looks set to intensify after a survey found that a third of people are thinking about buying their first home in the next two years.

In total, 32% of the Irish adults surveyed said they are contemplating buying their first home or moving house in the next 24 months. Of those surveyed, 5% made an offer on a property, 12% attended viewings and a further 12% researched potential purchases online.

According to the results of survey, the country could be in for a huge deluge of movement in the property market.

Of course we must remember that people don’t always play by the rules when taking part in surveys and there is a chance that some of those quizzed may have been a little aspirational in their answering.

However, the numbers are quite substantial when you consider that 32% of Irish adults equates to 250,000 people nationwide.

To give that figure a little perspective, it’s important to note that in a normal property market around 4% would be the average number of adults thinking about buying or moving home.

The figures suggest that we may now be entering a period of catch-up. Many house hunters have had to save patiently in order to be in a position to borrow due to the Central Bank’s lending criteria and now feel upbeat about their prospects of finally being able to buy their new home.

What does it mean for Letterkenny

Letterkenny’s housing market is already under pressure due to high demand. Should the new survey’s findings be applied to Letterkenny then we can expect demand to further intensify.

Plans by such a large number of potential home buyers suggests that we have reached a pivotal point in the restoration of the market following almost a decade in the doldrums.

The signs of recovery in the market in Donegal have been evident for some time now.
More buyers are appearing each week, however stock is not becoming available at the same rate – particularly in Letterkenny and its environs.

The number of cash buyers remains in the ascendancy compared to those with mortgages approved. However, increasing numbers of people are presenting with ‘approval of funds’ to purchase properties. This is mainly due to lenders significantly easing up on restrictions and growing competitiveness among banks and other lending institutions.

Many of those who are not cash buyers have been building their deposits during the downturn in anticipation of lenders loosening their purse strings. These new figures provide strong indication that people, in great numbers, have quietly saved themselves into a position to borrow. These savers who began their journey several years ago can now breathe new life into the housing market.


Kiara Rainey (ARICS, ASCIS, RICS Registered Valuer) is a Property Advisor and Valuer at Sherry FitzGerald Rainey, 45 Port Road, Letterkenny.