Brexit and Help-to-Buy Scheme Provide Uncertainty

Boris Johnson has recently been elected Prime Minister and uncertainties surrounding Brexit are back on the minds of Irish people. The likelihood of there being a no-deal Brexit is strong and the Irish housing market needs to be ready for the consequences. Also, the uncertainty surrounding whether the help-to-buy scheme will be continued or not will have a strong effect on the housing market. The Irish housing market for the rest of this year will depend strongly on the outcomes of the two events listed above.

Lisney published a report recently focusing on the upward trend in the Cork house and construction sectors. Lisney cited Brexit and help-to-buy scheme as two possibilities that may negatively affect the Cork market. Lisney investigated 41 new home schemes being constructed in the Cork area which totals 2,640 units. The help-to-buy scheme is what’s keeping first time buyers able to purchase a home and if this is taken away the number of people seeking homes will decrease. New home sales contribute to approximately 15% of sales in Cork over the last couple of quarters …

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The Future of Help to Buy Scheme

The help to buy scheme is set to be extended past the original deadline of the end of this year. The help to buy scheme grants money to first time buyers to help and encourage them to purchase their first homes. Currently, the grant gives up to 20 million Euros, but the government Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe signaled strongly that this program will be extended.

Mr. Donohoe said that the grant had, “a very valuable role in supporting the purchase of homes across last year and this year in particular.” The rising house prices in Ireland has caused many young buyers unable to attain mortgages to buy a house and this initiative mainly targets younger couples.

Some complaints with having a help to buy scheme is many people view it as being a subsidy to developers. The payment that the government is giving to buyers is subsequently being paid to the developers. This can encourage them to keep prices raised and not provide a decrease in demand causing prices to lower.

Mr. Donohoe is currently consulting with Housing Minister Eoghan …

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Inflation Rates Return to Normal

 

The current housing prices in Dublin have been talked about extensively recently. The newest trend shows that housing prices have reached peak affordability and now some of the wealthy classes of people are having trouble affording homes. Current house prices in Dublin are more than nine times the average salary making them unattainable for the majority of people because mortgages can only be 3.5 times your salary. Additionally, these numbers have not been seen since the Celtic Tiger Era, however, the central bank has been more careful this time and increased borrowing rules unlike during the Celtic Tiger Era. Prices are now beginning to slow down because simply nobody is able to afford them.

Inflation has also cooled off recently with a decrease from 12.4% last May to 2.8% a year later. Dublin has seen a significantly smaller inflation rate with an increase of prices from the current year to May of .6%.

The region of Dublin had the highest median price of 366,000 Euros which is just over 9 times more than its average salary of 40,000 Euros. …

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Both Political Parties are Pointing Fingers

The Increase of difficulty in attaining mortgages coupled with rising home prices has caused Ireland to have the lowest rate of home ownership in 50 years. The main group affected is young people looking to buy their first home who do not have enough money saved up to meet the 10% deposit required to attain a mortgage. Additionally, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin stated, “a litany of failures,” when discussing how the increase of homeless children falls on the current government’s policies. Mr. Martin discussed how Ireland used to be one of the highest home ownership rates in the EU to now one of the lowest at 68%.

The government may be too complacent with policy or foreign multinational corporations are bringing in a lot of short-term employees who are looking for renting, but something needs to be done to increase home ownership following this statistic. Owning a home provides long-term equity to people in a form other than cash that can be a safety net in times of trouble. Additionally, having to pay rent during retirement years can cause …

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Housing in half of all counties are unaffordable

According to the Irish independent, homes are becoming so expensive that first time buyers cannot afford to purchase a home in half of the counties in Ireland. Not only are the housing prices too high to quantify as affordable, but mortgage requirements do not make buying homes possible for first time buyers. In other words, a buyers average income does not amount to the fund needed to deposit. A buyer’s income on average also does not quantify to high enough earnings to qualify for a mortgage.

The lack of affordable homes have always been an issue in Dublin and Cork, but the trends in the housing market are causing widespread housing unaffordability throughout the state. Recently, a survey conducted by the EY-DKM economic advisory determined Co Roscommon, Co Clare and Co Offlay have been defined as additional counties that are now too expensive for buyers.

The most unaffordable counties of Co Wicklow, Co Kildare, and Co Meath have been defined as the most unaffordable in terms of saving for a deposit. These counties take an average of 15 plus years …

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Renting vs. Buying

A current issue revolving around Irish news is whether to increase the supply of rental or property ownership. It is well known that there is a shortage in properties available, but just trying to produce as many properties as possible is not the solution. Careful review of the issue needs to take place by the government and necessary legislation would follow. Some factors to consider include; land zoning, shared ownership purchase models, tax breaks for EU nationals arriving for construction work, reduced CGT for empty sites, tax reduction for citizens downsizing, and help-to-buy schemes.

First time home buyers are having trouble purchasing homes due to the increasing purchase prices. It is universally agreed upon that more properties need to be available. According to an independent article, 2500 houses that were built in the first three months have not been sold yet. In addition, this is driving up decisions. That coupled with difficult mortgage banking is challenging middle- and lower-class citizens to find accommodation. These statements emphasize the lack of availability and ease for purchasing affordable housing.

Build-to-rent schemes have the …

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The Help to Buy Scheme

The Help to Buy (HTB) scheme is an incentive for first time property buyers. The scheme helps individuals with deposits needed to buy or build a house or apartment. The incentive is that the scheme will give individuals an income tax and deposit interest retention tax (DIRT) refund. This refund extends up to four years of income tax and DIRT tax paid in Ireland in arrears. The incentive has a limitation to a maximum of 5 percent of the purchase value of a home up to a value of €500,000.

To qualify for the scheme, individuals must be first time buyers. The property bought or going to built must be newly built with the construction subject to the value added tax (VAT) in Ireland. The requirements of the Help to Buy scheme also involves taking out a mortgage on the property with a qualifying lender. The loan to value ratio must be at least 70%. This loan to value ratio denotes the percent of the loan that covers the purchase value of the property.

The scheme is estimated to contribute about …

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First time buyer steps explained

Being able to take out a mortgage has become a major hassle for all types of home buyers, but especially first time buyers. Recently, a 2018 study by the Central Bank reported that the best position to be in so that your request for a loan can be approved by one of the 7 largest lending banks is in a couple with a substantial down payment already available.

This is most likely the case because a couple can bring in two salaries, making a steady stream of income more reliable even if one person were to lose their job. Additionally, having a large down payment reduces risk for the lender. If you were to foreclose on a property, meaning you couldn’t afford to pay your mortgage anymore, there would be significantly less consequences on the lender side.

Although this is an ideal situation for approval, it is not the only solution. Plenty of first time buyers are individuals without extremely high credit scores and salaries, but there are a few key parts that must be fulfilled in order …

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Bank Refusal to Loan to First Time Buyers

Current issues with mortgage regulations are preventing many first time buyers who qualify for many exemptions from the harsh Central Bank mortgage rules. Data form Central Bank shows that only 17% of mortgages issued last year included mortgage exemptions. Lenders are entitled to issue exemptions for 20% of the value of the loans they issue to first time buyers. This gap in issuance of exemptions has left first time buyers are left desperate and frustrated by the difficult restrictions placed qualifying for mortgage exemptions. Exemptions are needed but people are not receiving them because of the scope for banks to lend more.

The requirements to qualify for the exemptions are extremely complex. This complexity of the rules of exemption is the reason why banks are unable to understand how many exemptions can be used, which in turn makes banks reluctant to approve exemptions. Qualifying for exemptions allow a minority of higher earning home buyers to borrow more than is allowed.

According to the Independent, it is estimated that banks have only issued income exemptions to 11% of first time …

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