New home buyers forced to borrow €13,000 more
First-time buyers were forced to borrow more last year as property prices continue to rise.
New buyers typically borrowed €224,000 to cover the cost of buying their homes.
This was up almost €13,000 on the amount borrowed by the typical first-time buyer in 2017, according to new data from the Central Bank.
The mean, or average middle value of the properties bought by first-time buyers, rose by €14,500 to €284,000.
Statisticians in the Central Bank worked out that the new buyers were earning a mean salary of €73,500 last year, up €3,330 on the previous year.
Interest on their loans was typically 3.1pc, down from 3.4pc in 2017.
Most new borrowers opted to fix, while they were typically aged 34 years.
They borrowed 3.1 times their income, which is inside the limit allowed by the Central Bank. Most were joint borrowers.
Lending limits imposed by the regulator mean first-time buyers are restricted to borrowing three-and-a-half times their income, unless they get an exemption. And new buyers need a deposit of 10pc, with 20pc the minimum deposit for second-time buyers.
Only 21 mortgage exemptions on loan to value (LTV) were given to first-time buyers last year, the statistics show. This is the rule requiring a 10pc deposit.
A majority of the LTV exemptions went to second-time buyers, with a total of 1,654.
The exemptions around what people can borrow in relation to the earnings were handed out more freely. A total of 2,465 first-time buyers were allowed to breach the 3.5 times salary requirement.