- 61% plan to power their home with renewable energy because of high energy costs
- 75% are more inclined to consider property’s BER in light of sustainability concerns and higher energy costs
- 56% worried that interest rate hikes will affect their ability to buy
- 55% of prospective homebuyers and 64% of renters say rise in cost of living has affected or delayed their purchase
- 54% say the Central Bank’s new mortgage lending rules are a good thing
- 86% believe the Government could do more to help the property sector
Monday March 6, 2023. A new survey has suggested that energy concerns are of paramount importance to prospective homebuyers in light of the current high costs of electricity and gas.
According to the survey of 2,509 people conducted in late February 2023 by leading property website MyHome.ie, six in ten (61%) say the high cost of conventional utilities means they will plan to power their home with renewable energy. Meanwhile, three-quarters (75%) of prospective homebuyers say they are now more inclined to consider a property’s Building Energy Rating (BER) in light of sustainability concerns and higher energy costs.
Over half of respondents (56%) say they are worried that interest rate hikes will affect their ability to buy, however a similar number (54%) welcome the Central Bank’s new mortgage lending rules of four times’ income for first-time buyers.
The cost of living crisis is still having a significant effect on property market sentiment, with 55% of prospective homebuyers and 64% of renters saying rising costs have affected their ability to find a property. Meanwhile, 63% of homebuyers and 70% of renters have had to look beyond their top location choice because of price concerns.
Last August, 24% of prospective homebuyers said they believed the next year would represent a good time to buy property. Now, just 13% of respondents said the same.
Despite this poor sentiment, robust demand still appears to be a strong feature of the property market at present with a strong cohort of the respondents financed and ready to go. Almost two-thirds (63%) of respondents have finances in place to buy a property in the next year, and over half (56%) say they are confident about their ability to buy in that timeframe.
Joanne Geary, Managing Director of MyHome.ie, said: “We know that sentiment in the property market tends to mirror that of the overall economy, so it is perhaps not too surprising to see cost of living related energy concerns dominate in this survey. There is still significant pent-up demand among prospective homebuyers but they are looking for different ways to ease the financial burden. The good news is that the focus on renewable energy as part of the property search process is a fantastic long-term trend for both the market and the environment as a whole.”
She said that sentiment was still weak, and that supply was a critical problem. “Even though over half of our respondents have finance and are ready to buy, just 13% believe the next year will be a good time to buy property. Added to that, a large majority (86%) believe the Government should be doing more to help. The various schemes that have been introduced have eased the pressure, but in reality we need to see a significant increase in home-building to satisfy demand.”