| 9.2°C Dublin

'We're paying €238,000 for our first home after seven-year wait'

IT remains a major conundrum for countless young Irish couples ensnared in the property merry-go-round.

Should they move now and buy that longed-for house, or should they wait to see if prices will fall further?

After seven years of being squeezed out of the market, Robin Webster (39) and his wife Yao (34) have finally decided to take the plunge and buy their very first home together in a Dublin suburb.

"We're at the signing stage at the moment of purchasing our first home in Donabate. We're paying €238,000 and at the peak in 2007, we would have easily paid north of €400,000. It's a three-bed semi-detached which also has an attic conversion in it," Mr Webster said.

"We're just starting a family so that was a major part of why we bought now. My daughter is just one month old. We've been looking on and off since 2005 but we were getting constantly outbid by other people. So we parked it but when our family circumstances changed, we started to look at it again.

"I think the market still has a bit of a way to go, in particular apartments. But for us it was a trade-off between waiting and not waiting. We're both working; I'm in IT and my wife works in a post office so getting a mortgage was pretty straightforward. We are both good savers so we had a good nest egg and so we didn't need to borrow too much," he added.

"We were very area specific about where we wanted to live and we really wanted something in Donabate. We found the supply quite limited here so we waited until something that suits us came along.

"The market is very fragmented at the moment. In certain parts of Dublin the prices are near enough to the bottom. I don't think anywhere is at the very bottom just yet but some places will go down only marginally from here.

"So it's probably no longer worth sitting on the fence any more."

Irish Independent