Wicklow unaffordable for most first-time buyers


Wicklow is one of the most unaffordable counties for first-time buyers to buy a home as a new report reveals that it now takes more than 15 years to save for a deposit in the county. And the average first-time buyer would need a multiple of almost five times their annual income, far in beyond Central Bank rules, to qualify for a mortgage here.

These are some of the findings in the new report by EY-DKM Economic Advisory to quantify how unaffordable buying a home for the average first-time buyer has become in Ireland.

The report comes as the price of the average three-bed semi in the county rose by 0.3% over the past three months, according to a separate survey carried out by Real Estate Alliance.

Wicklow prices remained static overall at €290,000 over the past year, the Q2 REA Average House Price Survey found.

According to the EY-DKM report, in terms of saving for a deposit, the most affordable counties for first-time buyers are Leitrim, where it would take just 1.3 years to save enough for a home; Waterford (1.6 years), Sligo (1.6 years), Cavan (1.7 years) and Longford (1.9 years).

There are no surprises when it comes to the counties that are the least affordable for first-time buyers, as they are dominated by the Dublin commuter counties.

Wicklow, Meath and Kildare top the results as the most unaffordable when it comes to saving for a deposit, with an average of 15+ years required to save a 10% deposit on the typical home.

“The sale of second-hand family homes and three-bed semis in North Wicklow has slowed, and prices have eased off due to construction of new homes,” said Matt Forkin of REA Forkin, North Wicklow.

“New home build is having an impact on the price of second-hand homes as buyers opt for new houses.”

The price of the average three-bed semi in North Wicklow was static this quarter at €315,000, and average time to reach sale agreed rose from eight weeks to 10.

Average three-bed semis in Baltinglass were static in price this quarter and are currently on the market at €170,000, with the time taken to sell remaining at 12 weeks.

The price of the average three-bed semi in Blessington rose by 1.72% to €295,000 this quarter, and the average time to sale fell from eight weeks to six.

Wicklow Town three-bed semis saw no change in price at €320,000 and remained on the market for 10 weeks, with prices in Bray also static at €350,000 with a 10 week sale time.

The average semi-detached house nationally now costs €236,028, the Q2 REA Average House Price Survey has found – a rise of 0.05% on the Q1 2019 figure of €235,898.

Overall, the average house price across the country rose by 1.54% over the past year – a decrease on the 2.96% recorded to March and an indication that the market is continuing to steady after an 8% overall annual rise to June 2018.


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