The National Asset Management Agency has extended its residential mortgage 80:20 deferred payment scheme to another 180 houses in 12 counties.

The houses range in size from two bedroom to five bedroom with prices starting from €100,000.

The houses in the new phase of the scheme are in counties Carlow, Galway, Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Meath, Cork, Kildare, Sligo, Dublin, Kilkenny and Waterford.

The 80:20 scheme offers potential buyers the ability to own and move into a new home now instead of renting while they wait for the market to stabilise. 

It protects buyers from decreases of up to 20% in the value of their property over the next five years. 

Under the scheme 80% of the agreed sale price of the property is paid upfront. The remaining 20% will only be due in five years' time. 

How much, if any, of that 20% is then due will be calculated on the basis of an independent assessment of the property's value at that point.

''This initiative is still at an early stage, but it has been favourably received by the prospective purchasers,'' commented NAMA's chief executive Brendan McDonagh.

''It is aimed at instilling confidence in people that they can buy a home without the immediate worry of falling values and facilitating greater price discovery,'' he added.

Three banks - Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and AIB (through its subsidiary EBS) - are taking part in the scheme.

The pilot phase of the programme had seen the initiative available on more than 115 houses located in 12 developments in Dublin, Meath and Cork.