A leading financial and property commentator has said he believes the property market is in the early stages of a recovery rather than a bubble.

Frank Conway, Editor of the Irish Financial Review, said the recovery was well overdue following a drop in house prices by as much as 60% from the peak seven years ago.

He said there will always be a demand for suitable properties once there is a sense that there is value in the market.

"In the last few years, very few people have been going into the market because lending was scarce and people feared property prices would fall further.

"The conditions now are ripe for people to come back into the market," he said.

He said bubbles were driven by a set of market conditions converging at the same time, such as tax policy and a lack of lending guidelines.

The property expert said he did not believe that investors were driving price rises in the housing market because there was very little lending to investors at the moment.

He also said that he believes the banks are following strict lending criteria.