There has been a major increase in the number of prospective homebuyers who believe property prices will rise over the next year, according to a new survey.
The survey suggests that 47% of prospective homebuyers believe prices will rise by up to 10% in the coming year.
This represents a wholesale shift in opinion since last year.
In November last year, just 26% of respondents said the same, while only 15% agreed with that sentiment last August.
Housing stock is the most important issue facing prospective homebuyers, with 50% saying more stock on the market would encourage them to buy now.
Nearly eight in 10 respondents (78%) believe the Government could do more to help the property sector.
The survey of 2,521 people was carried out by MyHome.ie.
Meanwhile, prospective homebuyers continue to be largely insulated from Covid-related job losses and income drops.
Six in 10 (59%) prospective buyers have been able to save more money for a deposit since the onset of Covid-19 last year, while half of respondents (50%) agree that the home-buying market is more competitive now than it was before Covid-19 emerged.
Just 16% disagree with this statement.
This hardening of opinion on prices has had an impact on sentiment for the year ahead.
Around 40% of respondents believe the next year will represent a good time to buy property.
Last November, 49% of respondents said the same.
Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, said the findings reflected the reality in the market.
“We have seen commencements fall by 30% in 2020 compared to the year before, while second-hand stock coming to the market has fallen by 50% in the first two months of 2021 compared to the same time period in 2020,” she said.
“On the other hand, we see that six in 10 people have been able to save more money for a deposit since Covid-19 emerged. As such we believe there will likely be single-digit growth in property prices this year.”
Ms Keegan believes that the earlier a Covid-19 vaccine could be approved and distributed, the better for the market.
“Above all else, we need to deal with the pandemic in order to get the construction sector back working, improve vendor confidence, and redress the imbalance between supply and demand,” she added.