Energy concerns are to the fore among prospective house buyers, a new survey suggests, as the cost-of-living squeeze continues to bite.
The property website MyHome.ie sought the views of over 2,500 people for its study which was conducted in late February.
Three quarters of perspective homebuyers said they were more inclined to consider a property’s Building Energy Rating when making a decision on buying a house or apartment.
Three in five said the high cost of conventional utilities means they plan to power their home with renewable energy.
Despite a substantial fall in prices on international wholesale energy markets of late, most energy providers have yet to signal cuts to domestic energy prices.
Energy provider Pinergy announced in recent weeks that it would reduce its electricity prices at the end of this month and Electric Ireland is to reduce prices for business customers.
Over half of respondents – 56% – told MyHome that they are worried that interest rate hikes would affect their ability to buy.
A similar proportion – 54% – welcomed the Central Bank’s new mortgage lending rules of four times’ income for first-time buyers.
55% of prospective homebuyers and 64% of renters said rising costs had affected their ability to find a property while around two thirds said they have had to look beyond their top location choice because of price concerns.
Only 13% of respondents thought now was a good time to buy – down from around a quarter in August last.
However, demand for property remains robust.
Almost two-thirds of would-be buyers say they have finance in place to buy a property in the next year, and over half say they are confident about their ability to buy in that timeframe.
“There is still significant pent-up demand among prospective homebuyers but they are looking for different ways to ease the financial burden,” 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,” she added.