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First Time Buyers – Back in the Property Market

According to a number of articles in The Sunday Business Post (March 28th 2010), First-time buyers have begun to make a move into the Property Market.  With prices falling and expected to fall some more, affordability has improved and many potential buyers are considering whether now is the right time to buy their first home.

According to figures compiled by PropertyWeek, of the 2365 properties that have come onto the market in Dublin so far this year, just over 60% are in the first-time buyer category (under €350,000).

Areas around the city centre are proving popular for both apartments and houses and a number of ‘bidding wars’ have been reported, some below the asking prices but in a lot of cases the asking price is being reached.  Apartments in walk-in condition are easiest to sell, and the closer to town, the quicker the chance of a sale.  Properties in excellent condition will sell quicker as the buyer is unlikely to be able to take on additional borrowing for improvements.

Lending institutions have tightened up considerably on lending, with a smaller number of lenders in the market and a maximum loan of 92%.  The ability to repay a loan of the long term will be the key deciding factor in approving any mortgage.  Lenders are now paying very close attention to the security of someone’s employment, and are making judgement calls on whether certain employers will still be operating in a year or two from now.  They are also looking at basic income and won’t take much cognisance of overtime and bonuses. The other main thing lenders are looking for is a history of savings.

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