First-time buyers need €50k deposit

The average first-time buyer now has a deposit of almost €50,000, writes Joyce Fegan.

According to the latest housing affordability index by EBS and DKM economic consultants, the average national property suitable for first-time buyers was €245,662 with the average first-time buyer mortgage costing €196,530.

Therefore, first-time buyers are coming to the market with a cash deposit of €49,132, despite new regulations.

The index looked at the cost of buying a home for single people and couples against their incomes, the location and the cost of a property in a market with low supply and high demand.

It also looked at the percentage proportion of the first-time buyer’s monthly salary that went towards servicing their mortgage.

In May, for first-time buyers in Co Cork, the average price of a property was €220,851 and a couple spent 19% of their net income covering this mortgage, whereas a single person used 28.9% of their net monthly earnings to service it.

In Cork City, for the same month, the average first-time buyer property cost €208,090 with couples using 18% of their net salaries to service this mortgage and single people using 27.3%.

First-time buyer working couples purchasing a property in Dublin were paying 27.4% of their net income to service their mortgage in May, against 25.5% a year before.

The average single first-time buyer was paying 32.2% of their net income on their monthly mortgage repayments in May.

In Dublin, the proportion of a couple’s net salary going towards their monthly mortgage repayments is expected to continue rising and is projected to reach 29.2% by December 2017.

Furthermore, house prices are now rising quickly outside Dublin according to the July index, implying that affordability is also deteriorating outside Dublin, particularly in the commuter belt.

Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Galway City, and Meath were the least affordable locations, with buyers needing 20% to 26% of disposable income to service a mortgage in these locations.

Within Dublin, the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown area in the south of the county is the least affordable location to buy as first-time buyer working couples now use 35.8% of their net income to cover monthly mortgage repayments.

A single first-time buyer purchasing in the same area would pay more than 53.5% of their net monthly income on repayments.

Ciara Morley, an economic consultant with DKM, said that first-time buyers face a “chronic shortage” of housing with people needing increasingly more money to service their mortgage,” said Ms Morley.

“First-time buyers are facing more expensive mortgages and inflated pricing due to the chronic shortage of houses in Ireland.

“We are seeing an upward trend in the proportion of disposable income required to fund a mortgage for first-time buyers over the last two years and we expect that proportion required to continue to rise.”

EBS CEO Des Fitzgerald said the index could be used as a tool by first-time buyers.

“The EBS-DKM Irish Housing Affordability Index is a great tool for people who are considering buying a home,” he said.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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