County is one of the best for first-time buyers

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WATERFORD is one of the top ten counties in Ireland for first-time buyers seeking affordable homes. A survey by the EY-DKM Economic Advisory placed us at number eight on the affordability list.

It found that in Waterford it takes first-time buyers on an average income 1.6 years to save for a deposit.  EY found that nearly half of all counties (46%) in the Republic are now unaffordable for first-time buyers on an average income.

The Dublin commuter counties of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare top the results as the most unaffordable when it comes to saving for a deposit, with an average of more than 15 years required to save 10% of the price.

First-time buyers do not fare so badly in Dublin itself, being required to save an average of 4.3 years to raise a deposit.

Leitrim most affordable county

Leitrim is the most affordable county, with a little over one year required to achieve a 10% deposit. These figures may appear counter-intuitive, but they reflect differences in property prices and household incomes across the country. Ignoring the need for a deposit, the report assessed affordability when looking at the ability to meet mortgage repayments, based on a mortgage of 3.5 times household income. In this instance, houses across the country are deemed significantly more affordable, with just seven counties classed as unaffordable using this metric.

Dublin, Cork, Galway, Meath, Wicklow, Kildare and Louth remain out of reach to the majority of first-time buyers even if the 10% deposit is achieved. The survey found no evidence to suggest that first-time buyers are moving to areas where houses are seen as more affordable, as the more affordable counties do not appear to be growing faster, on average, than the less affordable counties, in terms of the growth in the number of property transactions.

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