The affordability of a mortgage has decreased in early 2013, according to the latest affordability index by EBS and DKM Consultants, largely due to the removal of mortgage interest relief for first-time buyers.

The average working couple who were first-time buyers would need to spend 13.9% of their net income on their mortgage, according to the figures, compared to 11.8% in December 2012.

This rises to 16.9% of income for Dublin-based couples – 2.8% higher than six months ago – while a single first-time buyer would need to spend 27.9% of their income on their mortgage.

Despite the rise the average mortgage is still significantly more affordable than in 2006, when a working couple would have expected to use 26.4% of their income to fund repayments.

The average couple in Dublin would have paid around 32.5% of their income during that time.

According to the report the average first-time buyer drawing down a mortgage in the first quarter of the year took out a loan of €150,292.

Meanwhile the total value of loan approvals for house purchases – as well as the number of mortgage drawdowns – in the year to May 2013 was higher than in the previous 12 months.