There's no doubt however that if you could get a realistically priced house now and have the wherewithall to put down a decent deposit, have secure employment and can afford the repayments, you would be in a much better position than someone that bought 6 yrs ago.
Its not just about house 'prices'. As someone said before - Income, Interest and Inflation allied to Confidence, Sentiment and availability of Debt. Look at the bigger picture.
I think we are largely in agreement here. and I totally agree that the availability of credit outweighs (and the deposit) almost all the other factors.
My own view is that the BOI interest rate will remain low for the next 5 years and then it will increase. It has quite a bit to rise before it catches mortgage rates but it will force them up. I dont think there is any doubt about that. People may differ on the timing.
In the US you can get a 25 year and even a 30 year fix. I would love to see that coming in here (25y fix I mean).
Unemployment rates are a problem. they are around 8%. You could say 10% if you allow for funny counting. There is ofcourse the other 25% economic inactive, but they were there when we were booming.
The unemployment rate was just under 5% during the boom. so since then a further 3 or 4% have become unemployed (the new unemployed). The other 96% have held on to the jobs, and if you can believe the figures they are earning the same or more (which I find strange). How much more is unemployment going to go up 2%, 3%. I don't know.
The difficulty I have is the high proportion of this 'new unemployed' that is under 25y. That is the worrying factor for me.
However if we return to the potential house buyer who is trying to decide whether to buy or rent. he/she will have to do one or the other, unless they stay at home with mammy. So it is either starting to pay down the 20/25y mortgage or pay rent.