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  • EBS Affordability Index
    Publications EBS Affordability Index

EBS Affordability Index

The EBS/DKM Affordability Index presents an analysis of developments in affordability for First Time Buyers in the Irish housing market.

  • November 2016

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for November 2016

    It takes almost 21 per cent of a working couple’s combined after-tax income to pay for the mortgage on their first home, according to the EBS DKM Housing Affordability Index published on November 17th 2016. The index is a measure of the proportion of after-tax income required to meet the first year’s mortgage repayments for a working couple, each on average earnings of €36,600 a year. It takes into account not just the average property price, but the mortgage rate and the couple’s disposable income. 

    The recently launched government Help to Buy scheme takes the form of a rebate of income tax paid over the previous four years up to 5% of the purchase price of a new home up to a value of €400,000. The maximum relief of €20,000 will be available for new houses that are valued between €400,000 and €500,000.

    Director of DKM Economic Consultants, Annette Hughes, said that “the average first-time buyer couple paying the average price of €232,552 for a new home would have had to raise a deposit of €37,208 under the macro-prudential rules, based on our assumption of an 84% loan to value ratio. However, the Help to Buy incentive in the form of a tax rebate of €11,628, effectively reduces the cash deposit required to €25,581, which should have a positive impact on affordability, provided it is accompanied by an increase in new homes.” 

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • March 2016

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for March 2016

    Mortgage affordability for first-time buyers is improving, according to the latest EBS DKM Affordability Index published on Monday, March 21st 2016. This is due to a lower Loan to Value ratio for first-time buyers, while average earnings went up by almost 2 per cent in 2015 and average mortgage interest rates had fallen to 3.7 per cent in January 2016 compared with 4.3 per cent one year earlier.

    The new lending rules introduced by the Central Bank of Ireland in February 2015 have made it more difficult for first-time buyers to raise a mortgage due to restrictions on Loan to Value and Loan to Income ratios. But the rules have also resulted in first-time buyers borrowing less, thus improving affordability.

    The Affordability Index report, press release and infozine for March 2016 may be downloaded below.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • June 2015

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for June 2015

    EBS today (Wednesday, June 3rd 2015) released its latest EBS DKM Affordability Index showing that the proportion of disposable income required to fund a mortgage for the average first time buyer (FTB) working couple dropped to 19.5% in April 2015. This is down from 20.6% last October due to a decrease in house prices in the opening months of this year. The situation has improved dramatically since 2006, when an average FTB couple needed 26.4% of their net income to fund their mortgage, as property prices peaked.

    The Index shows a noticeable difference between the Dublin housing market and the rest of the country. In Dublin, a FTB working couple currently requires 22.6% of earnings to fund their mortgage, down from 24.3% in October 2014. A further improvement in Dublin affordability is forecast to 22.1% in June.


    The research also ranks counties in terms of housing affordability. Outside of Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare are the least affordable counties, where a FTB couple requires 21.6% and 21.1% of their respective net incomes to fund their mortgage repayments. In Cork and Galway, the figure stands at 14.4% and 13.4% respectively. Longford is the most affordable county in Ireland to buy a home, with a couple requiring only 6.9% of their net income to fund their mortgage.


    Single people on average earnings of €36,000 face the prospect of paying 38.9% of their net income to fund their mortgage, making affordability is a significant issue among this cohort of home-buyers.


    Director at DKM Economic Consultants, Annette Hughes, said:  “The benefit of the EBS DKM Affordability Index is that it captures monthly changes in house prices and the other determinants of affordability. With the volatile changes in house prices in the opening months of 2015, the positive and negative swings in affordability can be clearly seen. The recent upturn in house price in March is probably not surprising given that the market continues to be characterised by pent-up demand, a supply shortage, rising rents and new lending regulations.”


    EBS Head of Mortgages, Conal Clerkin said: “EBS has twice cut its mortgage rates over the last six months, helping improve affordability for new and existing customers. The research released today forecasts that affordability across the first time buyer market will have further improved in the three months to June.”

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • May 2014

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for May 2014

    The  national affordability level for first time buyers remains stable at 19.3% of net income for a working couple purchasing the average property. This figure is forecasted to rise to 19.6% in the next month. While affordability is now at levels last seen by the end of 2008, it is still well below peak level of over 26% of net income for a working couple. 

    There is a noticeable difference between the Dublin housing market and the rest of the country. Dublin property prices rose 13.7% in the latter half of 2013, with the average price of a home in Dublin standing at €234,500. This resulted in a slight impact on affordability, with the average working couple requiring just over 24% of their net income to fund their mortgage. Affordability levels have been relatively stable in the rest of the country currently at 16.7% for a working couple. 

    Director at DKM Economic Consultants, Annette Hughes, said:  “With property prices recovering in Dublin and other selected locations, confidence is beginning to return to the market. However a number of counties are a long way from the recovery phase. The key issue, however, appears to be supply in the Dublin region and with 1,600 units commenced in Dublin in the twelve months to January 2014, way below the estimated 6,000 units required immediately in the region. This needs to be addressed if first time buyers are to be accommodated at affordable prices. The supply issue is perhaps the single most important challenge facing the property market in 2014. It will undoubtedly remain so in 2015, given the long lead in time to delivering completed house building units to the market.”

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • November 2013

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for November 2013

    Housing affordability nationally is currently estimated at 17.3% of net income for a First-Time Buyer (FTB) working couple purchasing the average property, down from 26.4% at the peak. With modest increases in property prices and incomes expected over the coming months, affordability is expected to end the year at 17.7%. The index shows a single FTB on average income allocates 35% of net income to fund a mortgage.

    The proportion of net income required to fund a mortgage for the average Dublin FTB working couple was 22.4% in September. Supply shortages in the Dublin area are partly responsible for a worsening of affordability this year more so than any substantial increase in demand.

    Outside Dublin, housing affordability for FTBs has been around 16% throughout 2013 to date and is expected to be at 16.3% by December.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index
  • July 2013

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for July 2013

    Housing affordability continued to stabilise in the first half of 2013.

    The cost of funding a mortgage, nationally, for the average first time buyer (FTB) working couple stood at 13.9% of their joint net income in May. This was down substantially from the peak figure of 26.4% at the end of 2006. The corresponding percentage of net income required to fund a mortgage for a single person, nationally, was 27.9%.

    A number of negative factors, including the removal of mortgage interest relief for FTBs resulted in affordability levels dropping since the end of last year. However, FTBs who purchase a home in 2013 are exempt from paying the Local Property Tax until 2016.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • February 2013

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for February 2013

    Housing affordability returning to levels last seen in the mid 1990s.

    The cost of funding a mortgage, nationally, at the end of 2012, for the average first time buyer (FTB) working couple stood at 11.7% of their joint disposable income - significantly lower than the 26.4% recorded at the peak of the boom in 2006.

    The average FTB property price nationally was estimated at €134,051 in December 2012 or 3.69 times average earnings. The corresponding estimate for Dublin was €170,114 or 4.25 times average earnings for Dublin FTBs.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • November 2012

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for November 2012

    House prices and interest rates continue to be main driver for affordability.

    Key Highlights from November 2012 Index

    - Residential property prices nationally are down 50% since their peak and 9.6% in the last year but have been broadly flat for the last 7 months.

    - First Time Buyers continue to be the strongest segment, with 51.1% of new lending in Quarter 2, 2012.

    - The average first time buyer working couple is spending 11.7% of their joint income to fund a mortgage, compared with 26.4% in December 2006.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • April 2012

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for March 2012

    2012 provides further improvement in affordability for First Time Buyers

    Key Highlights March 2012
    - Residential property prices nationally are down 48% since their peak and 16.7% in the last year.
    - First Time Buyers continue to be the strongest segment, with 6,381 mortgage advances in 2011.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index
  • November 2011

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for November 2011

    Affordability continues to improve despite falling incomes.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • June 2011

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for June 2011

    Funding a mortgage today will cost a First Time Buyer couple half of what it cost 5 years ago.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release
  • January 2011

    DKM and EBS issue Affordability Index for January 2011

    Average FTB working couple nationally in December 2010 using 12.6% of their net income to fund a mortgage.

    Download EBS/DKM Affordability Index Download Press Release