THE dream of owning a home is fast moving out of the reach of people.
A majority of people believe is has now become harder to buy a first home in this country.
Some 65pc of people surveyed by iReach for insurer Royal London said it is now “harder than ever” to buy a home.
It comes as new buyers are being elbowed out of the market by the State buying newly-built homes for social housing and cuckoo funds snapping up properties in large blocks
Official figures show approximately one in every five newly built residential properties was snapped up by a combination of local authorities and taxpayer-funded housing bodies last year.
The iReach survey of 1,000 people confirms there is now a strong public perception that first-time buyers fact an uphill battle trying to own their own home.
Some 69pc of those between the ages of 18 and 34 feel it is now more difficult than ever to buy a first property.
The findings come as recent UCD research found that home ownership rates in this country have fallen markedly in recent decades.
Buyers are also being restricted by Central Bank lending limits. These mean first-time buyers need a deposit of at least 10pc and cannot borrow more than three-and-half times their income.
New buyers are also being hampered by a shortage of new and second-hand homes to buy, although there are now signs more homes are being built. Annualised rises in property prices are also a problem for potential buyers.
Royal London, which sells mortgage protection insurance, said the State’s help-to-buy incentive scheme due to end later this year. And the supply of properties still not keeping pace with demand, the future looks set to remain testing for anyone trying to take their first step on the property ladder.
Head of sales at Royal London Daragh Feely said: “Homeownership has fallen in Ireland from 72pc of all housing units in 1991, to 67.5pc in 2016.
“However, the decline has been particularly prominent for those in the 25-34 year old age bracket whose homeownership levels dropped from 68pc in 1991, to just 30pc in 2016. It seems that the views of our respondents are broadly in line with this research data, given that most say the market is tougher than ever.”
The survey also found that people in Dublin were most likely to agree that it was more difficult than ever to buy a home. But people in other parts of the country are also finding it hard to buy.
Mr Feely added: “The survey findings would indicate that buying property in the capital has always been considered difficult, but the rest of the country is also really experiencing these difficulty levels rise in line with property prices.”
Royal London said that price rises combined with no sign of any loosening of the mortgage lending rules, home ownership for first-time buyers will continue to remain elusive for many.