The help-to-buy scheme should be extended “sooner rather than later” to help first-time buyers being priced out, a mortgage expert has said.
Joey Sheahan of MyMortgages.ie was speaking as a report from EY and DKM showed nearly half of all counties in the Republic are now unaffordable for first time buyers on an average income.
Dublin, Cork, Galway, Meath, Wicklow, Kildare and Louth are out of reach to the majority of first time buyers even if the 10% deposit was achieved, the report said.
Mr Sheahan said: “The Government should revisit the help-to-buy scheme with a view to extending it. It’s important that this is done sooner rather than later so that struggling first-time buyers can be given some certainty as to whether or not they will be able to avail of this support after the end of this year.”
The report also gives weight to the argument that the Central Bank mortgage lending limits should be reviewed, Mr Sheahan added.
“It’s the income to house price ratio that is making affordability a big issue. If people were allowed to borrow more, this would provide some reprieve to those looking to buy their first home, he said.
Director of property developers GPD.ie, Eamon Hetherington said more focus had to be given to affordable rural areas.
“People can only live where there is employment, so it brings into focus importance of Government initiatives to attract employers to lesser utilised areas throughout the country – and away from the traditional urban business centres,” he said.