According to a recent survey from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) 20% of those renting say they plan to buy over the next 12 months.
With prices increasing in Dublin and even beginning to hint upwards elsewhere, and particularly in the prime apartment market, this is a not an unexpected result. However, mortgages remain as difficult to secure as ever and 12 months out is a good time to get started with lining up your ducks.
Here's what you can do straightaway:
* Check your credit rating. It's not a secret that only the banks have access to. You are entitled to the same information. For €6 you can apply to the Irish Credit Bureau (www.icb.ie) to see your credit history and, more importantly, make sure it's accurate. It shows at least two years of payments on any and all loans or credit you have and a black mark for even one missed payment can put you out of the running for a mortgage. If it's inaccurate, get it changed before the bank spots it.
* Apply for the mortgage. It's a tortuous process and worth commencing even if you haven't started house hunting yet.
* Get quotes for life cover. This is a mandatory requirement for mortgages but underwriting can take longer than you think, especially if there is medical information to be sought. You do not have to buy the cover offered by the bank.
* Start house hunting. No need to view or buy, but it's never too early to get a sense of what's available.
The latest figures by the CSO (November 2013) show an increase in house prices reflects an improvement in sentiment among prospective purchasers in the property market and a lack of supply of suitable homes. The CSO figures show that in the year to October, residential property prices at a national level, increased by 6.1% and by 1.8% in the month of October. In Dublin residential property prices grew by 2.3% in October.
Simon Stokes from the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, which represents estate agents and valuers around the country, said; “The fact that there was a 7 per cent decline in transactions in Dublin between October and September and an increase in prices reflects the shortage of suitable property coming onto the market and this is resulting in price increases”.
The SCSI noted that there was a 15 per cent increase year on year in transactions in Dublin in October 2013 compared to October 2012 but said this was coming off a very low base. “The CSO figures do not include cash sales which currently make up approximately 60 per cent of the market. It’s likely that prices have increased by more than the average in certain locations” Mr. Stokes concluded.