Monday 22 July 2019

Bad news for first-time home buyers

Report ranks Wicklow 'least affordable' for saving for a deposit

By Eimear Dodd

A new report has ranked Wicklow as the least affordable county in the country for first-time buyers trying to buy property.

The garden county came at the bottom of the league based on the ability of first-time buyers on an average income to pay a mortgage and the length of time needed to save for a deposit.

For first-time buyers in Wicklow, an average of 15 years plus was found to be required to save a ten per cent deposit.

However, even if first-time buyers saved the deposit, they still faced additional challenges to achieving home ownership in Wicklow. The report found that many may struggle to meet loan repayments, based on a mortgage of 3.5 times household income. First-time buyers in Wicklow were found to have a mortgage to income ratio of 4.9.

EY-DKM Economic Advisory analysed Ireland's housing market and their findings highlighted that the lack of affordable houses for first time buyers has moved beyond cities such as Dublin and Cork and become a nationwide issue.

The research did not look at other factors which first-time buyers may consider when choosing where to live. These include quality of life, commuting, lifestyle or work opportunities.

The report assessed affordability using two factors; whether first-time buyers can afford the mortgage repayments on a property based on a mortgage of 3.5 times their household income, and second, their ability to accumulate a sufficient deposit of 10 per cent to purchase the property. The research revealed that a significant barrier to home ownership for first-time buyers' is their ability to save the required 10% deposit due to a range of factors, which, in some counties, can take over 15 years to accumulate on an average income.

Meath and Kildare were also found to the most unaffordable when saving for a deposit.

Bray People