The pressure on household incomes to meet the cost of accommodation continues to increase as housing prices move closer to peaks reached in 2007.

This is according to the latest Housing Market Monitor, for the second quarter, from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

These pressures are also evident in the rental market, BPFI said. 

Data from the Residential Tenancies Board and the Central Statistics Office show that average weekly earnings were able to cover around 94% of monthly rents in 2012, but only 65% of average monthly rents nationally by the first quarter of 2019. 

"The mismatch between current demand, as well as pent-up demand, and the supply of new homes seems to have brought average sales prices relatively close to the peak of the previous cycle in terms of sale prices," commented BPFI's chief economist, Dr Ali Ugur. 

He said the same mismatch also seems to be affecting rental accommodation in pushing up private sector rents where we have significantly surpassed peak rents from the previous cycle.

"Meanwhile, average income levels in the economy have not increased to the same extent during the period and affordability in the context of the macroprudential rules seems to be having an effect on demand at price levels at which the construction industry seems able to profitably operate," Dr Ugur added. 

The BPFI monitor also reveals that first time buyers, with incomes exceeding €80,000 a year, accounted for 15% nationally and 27% in Dublin of all first time mortgages drawn down in 2004.

This had risen to 36% and 53% respectively by the end of 2018.

It also noted that while 15% of first time buyer mortgage were joint drawdowns in 2012, this had increased to around 32% in 2018.