herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Enda bid to ease home loan fears of buyers

Enda Kenny
Enda Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has made efforts to ease the concerns of worried first time buyers regarding the Central Bank's plan to cap mortgage lending.

He warned that home ownership should remain an "attainable ambition for young credit-worthy families".

It is the first time the Taoiseach has weighed into the plan to cap home loans at 80pc of the value of the property. This would mean that potential house buyers would have to prove that they have a deposit of 20pc of the value of the property before getting a mortgage.

borrowers

He assured first-time buyers he will now examine a mortgage insurance scheme that he feels would make buying a house easier for borrowers and leave the State liable for some of the debt.

However, property experts feel the introduction of any mortgage insurance scheme would have no effect on those seeking loans.

The Central Bank plans introduce the cap in the New Year, but it is currently holding a consultation period ahead of the proposed start date.

Any plans to cap the majority of home loans means that buyers would need to have massive deposits before buying the most modest of homes.

The Central Bank's plans received widespread criticism but house buyers are not convinced Mr Kenny's intervention will help people to buy a home.

Karen Mulvaney, managing director of the Buyer's Agent, an independent property search and acquisition company, said a mortgage insurance scheme would not make home ownership an attainable ambition for young credit-worthy families as outlined by Mr Kenny.

"A mortgage insurance scheme does not make any sense as people still have to fork out 20pc of the value of the property," she said.

"The average house price for our clients is €400,000. If you are looking for a house for that price you are going to have to come up with €80,000 in cash.

"That is not possible for the first-time buyer who is working and potentially renting. How could they afford to save €80,000 while paying 60pc in tax and paying rent at the same time? A mortgage insurance scheme will not help that and not make it attainable," added Ms Mulvaney.

hnews@herald.ie

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