Thursday 25 April 2019

'I'm hunting for a house - but I don't see this Budget being any help at all'

First-time buyers

Stuck: House-hunter Conor McKenna is unable to save up for a deposit to buy his first home because of the high price of rent. Photo: Arthur Carron
Stuck: House-hunter Conor McKenna is unable to save up for a deposit to buy his first home because of the high price of rent. Photo: Arthur Carron
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

The challenge of getting a foot on the property ladder is set to continue as the Budget offered little relief for first-time buyers.

Despite the announcement of an Affordable Housing Scheme which will deliver 6,000 new affordable housing units, house hunter Conor McKenna fears it will have little effect.

Mr McKenna has been searching for his first house in Louth for almost five months but says a shrinking market has stopped him getting his hands on a set of keys.

"It's very hard out there buying your first house," he said. "As a single buyer, the range of money you can afford is quite low, and you end up bidding against couples and others who have bigger budgets.

"I've been looking for the past four or five months, and in that time, I've only bid on two houses while I've gone to view 14, 15."

Conor worries there is no sign of this changing despite the Budget announcement of a new affordability scheme. "Building 6,000 houses across 26 counties is a very small spread, and the question is whether it's going to be evenly spread or where and when these will be built," he added.

"I don't see this Budget being any help at all, as far as I can see."

Conor, who has been renting for several years now, said getting rent rates under control would have better supported buyers.

"If there were rent controls in place bringing rents down, then people could save and get into the property market. You can't save for a deposit and pay these huge rents."

Irish Independent

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