The High Cost of Buying

Bank of Ireland’s First-Time buyer survey identified the main challenges and impact of Covid-19 for First-time buyers.

Main Findings

  1. 52% of first-time buyers say the high cost of buying a home was the biggest challenge they faced in 2020
  2. 48% of first-time buyers have said Covid-19 has delayed their plans to buy a home
  3. €550 was the average saved per month by first-time buyers in 2020
  4. 55% of first-time buyers will depend on financial help from family or friends to buy their first home.

According to Bank of Ireland’s 2020 first-time buyer survey over half (52%) of first-time buyers said the high cost of buying a home is the biggest challenge they faced in 2020. Lack of supply in desired areas and the ability to save for a deposit are also seen as significant challenges for first-time buyers.

No 2020 survey would be complete without analysing the impact of Covid-19. The survey revealed Covid-19 had a major impact on first-time buyers with 48% saying it had delayed their plans to buy a home, while 23% said it had accelerated their plans. Covid-19 also made first-time buyers re-think the type of property they want to buy as well as the areas they want to buy in. 22% of first-time buyers said they were reconsidering the type of property they wanted to buy and 21% said they are rethinking the location.

The average first-time buyer in 2020 saved €550 a month, the highest since Bank of Ireland started the survey in 2016. Although saving more than in previous years, over half of first-time buyers (55%) said they would still depend on financial help from family or friends to buy their first home.


*Research was conducted by RED C between November 2nd and 3rd 2020 with 204 people aged 25-45 who are ‘planning to buy or build their first home in the next few years’

Bank of Ireland Mortgage Bank trading as Bank of Ireland Mortgages is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland

April 4, 2021 5:04 pm

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