A new survey reveals strong support among consumers here people for a loosening of the Central Bank's mortgage lending rules to make it easier for people to get a mortgage.

The independent research was conducted by RED C on behalf of bonkers.ie.

Last week the Central Bank announced that its mortgage lending rules are to remain the same for at least another year.

But the bank is undertaking a more in-depth review of the rules and invited online feedback from the public and interested parties earlier this year.

It said the feedback will help inform its decision on whether the rules should be tweaked more substantially going forward. A decision is expected around this time next year.

The Central Bank's mortgage lending rules were introduced in early 2015 and limit mortgage seekers to borrowing 3.5 times their income. They also require that first-time buyers have at least a 10% deposit.

This increases to 20% for second-time buyers or movers, but a limited number of exceptions to the rules are allowed each year.

The mortgage rules were brought in to ensure banks lend more sensibly and to avoid a repeat of the reckless lending that led to the 2008 financial crash.

Today's research showed that 64% of people say they are in favour of mortgage seekers being allowed borrow more than 3.5 times their income, provided they can demonstrate their ability to repay.

This compares to 18% who say they are against allowing people borrow more.

At 70%, those aged between 35 and 44 were most likely to say that the Central Bank's loan-to-income rule should be relaxed.

The research also showed strong support for a lessening of the deposit requirement with 53% of people saying that the minimum deposit requirement of 10% for first-time buyers is too high, and should be lowered.

This compares to 27% who disagree with any change to the measure.

Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at bonkers.ie, said that the Central Bank has come under increasing pressure to loosen its mortgage rules over the past few years, from both banks and even Government.

Now it would appear the public wants change too, he added.

"No one wants a return to the reckless lending of the past. However the current rules, while well intentioned, would appear to be helping contribute to a dysfunctional housing market as in almost every area of the country it is now cheaper to buy a property than it is to rent - which should never be the case - as people can't get a mortgage of sufficient size or save up the deposit," Mr Cassidy said.

But he said we need to be careful about what we wish for.

"Given the limited supply of housing at the moment, any loosening of credit rules without a corresponding increase in the level of housing output, could simply lead to an increase in property prices, leaving prospective home buyers in no better a position," he added.