One in five people who are currently renting a home say they are likely to purchase a property in the next 12 months, according to a new property survey.
The survey, which was carried out by RED C on behalf of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), also shows that one in eight of all non-homeowners - currently renting or living at home - say they are likely to buy a home in the next year.
Micheál O'Connor, President of the SCSI, said the survey showed a slight improvement in market activity and sentiment compared to 2012.
"Overall 7% of the 1,000 people surveyed say they plan to buy a new home in the next 12 months," he said.
"This compares with a figure of 5% last year. This is quite encouraging and indicates consumer confidence is improving, albeit off a low base".
However, Mr O'Connor warned that a lack of supply was putting pressure on prices in urban areas and that the heavy reliance on cash purchases was not sustainable in the longer term.
"Everyone wants to see a return to a normal functioning property market as quickly as possible and for that to happen we must ensure that supply issues are addressed speedily where they occur," Mr O'Connor said.
"Furthermore the market appears to remain cash reliant with 5% surveyed claiming to be cash buyers.
"The current level of cash transactions is not sustainable into the future."
He was addressing over 100 delegates at a national seminar entitled 'The Residential Mortgage Market' which was hosted by the SCSI in Dublin.
The survey also showed that while there has been a slight decline in the number who say they would be happy to rent for an extended period, a long-term rental market does appear to be emerging.
This is evidenced by the thirty six per cent of renters who 'strongly agree' that they are happy renting and could see themselves renting long-term, rather than purchasing a home. However the survey also shows that many renters are not fully aware of their entitlements.
"59% of renters say they are not fully aware of their rights while one in five says they are not aware of recent changes in minimum rental standards," he said.
"These include the need to have a separate bathroom, cooking facilities and a washing machine.
"60% say it is difficult to get deposits returned from landlords and this is an issue which clearly needs to be addressed.
"While the number of disputes relating to deposits are low at just 0.31% of tenancies according to a recent Indecon report, ambiguity remains about the exact protocol for retention and returning of deposits which is causing confusion among landlords and tenants," Mr O'Connor said.
RED C interviewed a random representative sample of 1004 people aged 18+ nationwide by telephone between November 4-6, 2013.
According to the 2011 Census there are 1.1m households in the country - 70% are owner occupied while 29% are rented. Some 18.5% are rented from private landlords while 7.8% are rented from local authorities.