Ask the experts: In your experience, what percentage of buyers are paying cash? Do you think this will rise or fall this year?
Our REA Average House Price Survey for Q4 shows that 31pc of purchasers are cash buyers, a drop of 16pc on the December 2015 figure of 37pc. The highest percentage of cash buyers are in the rural towns outside the commuter areas, where the figure stands at 38pc, down from 44pc this time last year. In Dublin City, we have seen a large increase in mortgage-funded purchases over the past year, with just 22pc cash buyers in Q4.
Eamonn Spratt is chairman of the Real Estate Alliance, a partnership of more than 50 auctioneering firms nationwide. He is also the third generation to run the family estate agency REA Spratt in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, where he has worked for 28 years.
Around 44pc of our sales were to cash purchasers. These comprised largely investors and pension funds. As there is a finite pool of cash buyers, we would expect the percentage of cash buyers to decline in 2017.
Marian McQuillan is the CEO of Quillsen, formerly Gunne Estate Agents, and was formerly a director of Purcell McQuillan Tax Partners.
Between 35-40pc of all normal houses sales are currently funded by cash. As the number of transactions increase each year, this level of cash sales will reduce. Nearly all investment purchases last year were funded by cash but with the likes of Pepper and now Dilosk entering the buy-to-let lending market, this is likely to change.
Keith Lowe is CEO of Douglas Newman Good, which has 75 offices throughout the country. He has 32 years' experience in the sector, having joined the firm in 1984.
Near 50pc of the overall market. Lending volumes will have increased to an estimated €5.2bn in 2016, which represents a 15pc increase year-on-year. Between 2017-2020, the ratio of those borrowing is likely to increase. There are now nine lenders in the market and this increased competition will lead to greater numbers being in a position to borrow.
Michael Grehan s the managing director of the Sherry FitzGerald estate agency group, which has a 66-branch-strong network including franchises. He has more than 27 years' experience in the sector.
All recent reports suggest that the volume of cash buyers has been decreasing over recent months and we would expect this deceleration to continue, as more normal lending patterns emerge for borrowers. However, cash will remain an influential part of the market while other investment forms, like deposit interest, continue to provide negligible returns for investors and where value is still perceived from property yields.
Claire Solon is president of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, with 5,000 members in the property sector, and head of property at Friends First, where she manages €500m of property assets.