Househunters undaunted by Covid-19, MyHome.ie survey suggests

Just 13% expect prices to fall by more than 10% over the next year, research finds

Just 13% of those surveyed for MyHome expect prices to fall by more than 10% over the year. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Just 13% of those surveyed for MyHome expect prices to fall by more than 10% over the year. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

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Sentiment among prospective homebuyers appears to be holding up in the face of the pandemic, research by MyHome.ie suggests.

The consumer sentiment survey of more than 2,700 prospective homebuyers by the property website, owned by The Irish Times, shows 71 per cent plan on forging ahead with a purchase of a property over the next year, despite the ongoing economic impact from coronavirus. This compares with 68 per cent when the question was asked as part of a survey in May.

Prospective homebuyers are also increasingly less expectant that house prices will fall significantly over the next year due to the virus. Just 13 per cent of those surveyed for MyHome expect prices to fall by more than 10 per cent over the year, which is barely a third of the 37 per cent cohort who expected such price falls in the May survey. About 40 per cent of prospective homebuyers expect price falls of less than 10 per cent, compared to 45 per cent in May.

A declining expectation of price falls would generally be assumed to lead to greater confidence in the market, as prospective buyers tend to stay out of the market if they believe houses will get cheaper if they wait.

Almost three-quarters of those surveyed said they felt safe viewing houses during the pandemic.

Angela Keegan, managing director of MyHome.ie, said “many prospective buyers have not been hit by the economic fallout from Covid-19”.

“Even though consumers have not seen the price drops that many predicted when Covid-19 emerged, demand has stayed strong throughout Q2 and Q3,” she insisted, as separate MyHome research suggested asking prices rose 1.2 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

She warned that construction activity should not be shut down again to fight the pandemic over the winter months.

“Our analysis shows that stock levels are down by 22 per cent year-on-year, which is concerning. A healthy, functioning property market needs a good balance of supply and demand, and as such we need to see construction continue unimpeded over the winter if at all possible.”