The mortgage rules introduced 18 months ago need to be revised, according to the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV).
Its new survey shows that although property prices have stabilised, the market has stagnated.
At the moment first time buyers can only borrow three and a half times their salary and must have a 20% deposit.
IPAV said property developers are not building new homes in the country as they will not make a profit, while Dublin buyers cannot afford the properties on offer.
Chief executive of IPAV Pat Davitt said the price difference between Dublin and neighbouring counties was one of the main problems.
"There needs to be different rules in the country and in the city," he said.
"We're asking that the three and a half times loan-to-income (ratio) be changed to four and a half times, and also that the 20% deposit be changed to 15% throughout the country. We find the deposit is one of the biggest impediments to people buying a property at the moment."