Demand to buy homes is ‘exceptionally large’ with property market primed for explosion

The property market is primed for explosion with one third of people keen to buy a house in the next two years if circumstances allow.

While such a move may prove purely aspirational for many, 5% have made an offer on a home, a further 12% are attending viewings and another 12% are researching possibilities online.

In total, 32% say they are contemplating buying their first home or moving house in the next 24 months — eight times more than would be expected in a normal property market, where 4% is the average at any given time.

The startling statistic — which translates into around 250,000 people — is an indicator consumers are growing more confident in the economy and in their own finances.

However, it also serves as a pre-budget warning that the promised introduction of measures to help first-time buyers will have to be carefully considered to avoid sparking a chain reaction that could send demand, and prices, spiralling.

Austin Hughes, chief economist with KBC Bank which commissioned the survey, said the figure was “exceptionally large” and reflected the high level of pent-up demand in the marketplace after eight years of slump.

“It’s the catch-up factor. After a prolonged period in which people were understandably reluctant to contemplate home buying for a range of reasons, the survey suggests we are seeing significant pent-up demand reemerge.”

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