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Wicklow Ranks 2nd Least Affordable County For Joint Buyers.

It would take an eye-watering 13.5 years to save for a deposit for a home in Wicklow.

New research by Switcher.ie has revealed the most affordable places for first time buyers in Ireland. The median house price for first-time buyers in the 12 months to December was €340,00.

Despite mortgage activity declining during 2023, first-time buyer mortgages remained buoyant accounting for around 63% of the market. The average first time buyer drawdown was €282,084 - the highest level since records began in 2003.

Switcher.ie’s Affordability Index reveals the most affordable areas for joint buyers and sole buyers based on how long it would take to save for a deposit in each RPPI region. 

Joint first time buyers

 Top 5 most affordable places for joint buyers

Leitrim was the top spot as the most affordable place for joint first time buyers. With some of the cheapest house prices in Ireland, it would take just 2.5 years to save the minimum 10% deposit.

The research showed that the most affordable places for first time buyers were not necessarily in the areas with the lowest house prices. Although cheaper property prices help, having a comparably higher income makes your mortgage more affordable and deposits take less time to save.

Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon, Sligo and Mayo are the top 5 most affordable places for joint buyers and take the least amount of time to save for a deposit. If both buyers were earning the average amount for their county, they could expect to spend 2.5 years saving for a property in Leitrim.

RANK

RPPI REGION

PROPERTY PRICE

MEDIAN JOINT INCOME

INCOME TO HOUSE PRICE

YEARS TO SAVE

1

Leitrim

€184,000

€75,408

2/5

2.5

2

Longford

€ 179,500

€72,356

2/5

2.6

3

Roscommon

€201,500

€78,096

2/5

2.7

4

Sligo

€210,000

€78,886

3/8

2.8

5

Mayo

€210,500

€75,496

3/8

2.9

Top 5 least affordable places for joint buyers

Unsurprisingly, areas in and around Dublin were the most out of reach for joint buyers, with Dún Laoghaire earning the title as least affordable place for both joint and sole buyers.

It would take an eye-watering 27.9 years to save for a deposit for a home in Dún Laoghaire, and 13.5 years for a home in Wicklow.

Dún Laoghaire, Wicklow, Dublin, Kildare and South Dublin are least affordable for joint buyers, taking the most amount of time to save for a deposit.

RANK

RPPI REGION

PROPERTY  PRICE

MEDIAN INCOME

INCOME TO HOUSE PRICE

YEARS TO SAVE

1

Dún Laoghaire

€560,000

€ 92,272

1/6

27.9

2

Wicklow

€415,000

€ 86,280

1/5

13.5

3

Dublin

€415,000

€ 92,272

2/9

9.9

4

Kildare

€395,000

€ 90,346

2/9

8.4

5

South Dublin

€403,000

€ 92,272

2/9

8.4

 

Buying an apartment as a sole first time buyer

 Top 5 most affordable places

Roscommon, Longford, Leitrim, Limerick, Sligo proved most affordable for sole buyers, with an apartment in Roscommon averaging €92,500 in 2023. If buying alone, it would take between 2.5 years and 3.4 years to save for a deposit in one of these areas if earning the average in the county. 

RANK

RPPI REGION

APARTMENT PRICE

MEDIAN INCOME

INCOME TO HOUSE PRICE

YEARS TO SAVE

1

Roscommon

€92,500

€39,048

3/7

2.5

2

Longford

€91,500

€36,178

2/5

2.6

3

Leitrim

€102,500

€37,704

3/8

2.8

4

Limerick

€115,000

€40,719

1/3

2.9

5

Sligo

€129,500

€39,443

2/7

3.4

 Top 5 least affordable places

Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Wicklow, Galway, Kildare were most out of reach for sole buyers, with an apartment in Dun Laoghaire averaging €523,288, meaning it could take a resident on the average salary for that area, up to 88.5 years to save for a deposit.

RANK

RPPI REGION

APARTMENT PRICE

MEDIAN INCOME

INCOME TO HOUSE PRICE

YEARS TO SAVE

1

Dún Laoghaire

€523,288

€46,136

1/9

88.5

2

Dublin

€406,500

€46,136

1/9

59.4

3

Wicklow

€355,000

€43,140

1/8

52.7

4

Galway

€301,250

€40,973

1/7

42.7

5

Kildare

€323,475

€45,173

1/7

40.5

 

Help to Buy schemes and Ireland's new builds

Many first time buyers are reliant on help to buy schemes and grants, and these schemes often require first time buyers to purchase a new build.

We looked at new build availability in each local authority to gauge how many houses may be eligible for one of the help-to-buy schemes.

Our research revealed a correlation between areas with the highest house prices and the number of new builds in 2023.

This means the type of housing that qualifies FTBs for many help-to-buy schemes has been built in the most expensive areas, with Dún Laoghaire, Dublin and Kildare attracting the lion’s share of new builds in 2023 and places like Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon only seeing a fraction of the new house builds.

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