The Waiting Game

Getting the alternate view on the housing market.

With a housing crisis in Ireland's main cities driving rental inflation, we spoke with 1,000 Irish people, many of which represent the 650,000 people searching for somewhere to live.

This month, we focus on their expectations and attitudes towards renting versus buying in Ireland.

With over a year's data, we have been tracking how the changing consumer confidence in Ireland has had an impact on our relationship with renting and buying property. Previous reports have illustrated how inflation has spread from Dublin outwards to other regions and the summer months have highlighted the serious problems with homelessness driven by the lack of housing supply.

In August 2015, there were 650,000 Irish adults (18.1% of population) looking to move homes and buy property, with just over half of these (9.6%) entering the market for the first time.

More significantly, the number of Committed Hunters - those searching for property for more than a year - has doubled from 4.6% of the market (in August 2014) to 8.5% which represents over 300,000 people.

This group are either living with their parents (12% of group) or renting (45%) which has driven up the speculation within the rental market on prices and availability of housing.

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Where can we rent?

3 in 4 people in the country believe rent prices will rise more in the coming year. This is the first time we have seen a similar expected rent increase of 11% across all regions. The expected increase in Dublin has fallen from a 17% expectation last year, suggesting the rental market, while still at an inflated price, has stabilised.

1 in 4 people in the country have experienced rent increases in the past 12 months, with an average of 16% increase. Under 35 year olds have experienced a 20% increase compared to those over 35 who have experienced a 11.5% increase. Those Committed Hunters who are looking for somewhere to buy have experienced a 31.5% increase in their rental price.

"It is more affordable to buy!"

71% of people believe property prices will increase in the next 12 months, by an average of 11.4%. Those who have been looking for more than a year - Committed Hunters - are more extreme about the increase, believing the increase on property prices could be as much as 17.4% (compared to 16.6% rent increases).

The Waiting Game

For many, there are decisions to make about whether to rent, buy or wait to see. We asked people if they were faced with the following situations what would they do.

3 in 4 people said that if they were in negative equity they would wait to see how the market responded, illustrating how there is a majority who still believe property prices will increase. 62% of people would advise first time buyers to wait and see what happens with the market - another sign that people are not confident of the stability of the current situation.

The Renting Game

With so much pressure on the rental market, this quarter we asked specific questions about renting in Ireland. 1 in 2 renters are aware of the PRTB, but only 22% feel they look after renters needs. 60% feel landlords have all the power and only 12% believe the Government are helping renters.

While 40% are fearful of their rent increasing and 40% feel rent is a burden, there are only one in four people who are able to put away money to save after they pay their rent.

Interestingly, 68% of people like the area they are currently renting in, suggesting there is a need to develop in areas where there are currently people renting.