Soaring house prices and bigger loans have pushed the average cost of a monthly mortgage payment for a first-time buyer up by €110 since before the pandemic began, new figures show.
The average cost of a repayment for a mover purchaser has also jumped by €150 over the same period, latest data from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows.
On average a first-time buyer is now paying €1,020 a month and a mover purchaser €1,361.
The figures, which cover the first six months of the year, do not include the impact of interest rate increases which only began in July though.
In its latest mortgage report, the BPFI finds that the median property value, loan value and monthly repayment for first-time buyer mortgages on existing properties rose by around 10% when compared to the same period last year.
Despite the growth though, about a fifth of first-time buyers and two fifths of mover purchasers borrowed less than they could have under the mortgage lending rules set by the Central Bank.
This, the BPFI claims, was because borrowers are seeking to reduce their repayments as much as possible.
It says there are two ways this can be achieved.
One is by lengthening the duration of the loan, though there is no evidence of this in the data it claims.
The other, the BPFI says, is to maximise the size of the deposit used to buy the property.
"These borrowers chose to contribute much larger deposits than they needed to under the CBI limits," said Brian Hayes, chief executive of the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.
"This analysis shows that the borrowing choices made by home buyers have significant implications."
"It is clear that borrowers are considering both how much they are permitted to borrow but how much they can afford to borrow and how they can minimise the costs."
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Trevor Grant, chairperson of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors said the increase in mortgage repayments largely represents the necessary growth in the mortgage size needed to buy a property in the current market.
"If house prices increase by 10%, so too does the mortgage required to buy that home," he said.
"There's an assumption that, just like back in the Celtic Tiger days, everyone wants to borrow the maximum amount they can."
"This report shows that not to be the case – borrowers these days are far more prudent."
The data also shows that overall, the mortgage market continued to grow strongly over the first half of the year.
Drawdown volumes increased by 17% year on year to 21,895, the most since 2009.
Among the borrowers, first-time buyers accounted for 11,178 of the loans, the highest first half performance since in volume terms since 2007.
First-time buyers buying existing properties accounted for almost half of mortgages between January and June.
The median age of first-time buyers remained at 34, but rose to 43 among mover purchaser borrowers.
Over the six months Dublin saw the largest number of mortgage drawdowns at 30%, followed by Cork at 11%.
First-time buyers or new build properties made up just 13% of mortgages in Dublin during the period, the lowest share of any region.
The highest median basic household income, monthly repayments and property values for first time buyers or new builds were recorded in Wicklow.