Compare first time buyer mortgages in Ireland
Find Ireland’s best first time buyer mortgages and what you need to know about first time buyer grants, saving for a deposit and how much you can borrow.
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- 2% of your mortgage back as cash upfront
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Getting on the property ladder
Starting on your mortgage journey is exciting, but there are rules first time buyers need to know before the search begins.
To get a mortgage loan in Ireland, you’ll need a deposit and there are limits on how much you can borrow based on your income and the value of your chosen property.
You can learn more about how LTI and LTV work by reading our guide on how much you can borrow there’s also a handy calculator to help you estimate the most you might be able to borrow.
Saving for a mortgage deposit
A deposit is the money you pay upfront when buying a property.
When you’re buying your first home in Ireland, you need a deposit of at least 10%. For example, if you’re buying a property worth €200,000, you’ll need a minimum mortgage deposit of €20,000.
The best mortgage rates are available to borrowers who have a sizeable deposit and a low LTV, this is because they are less risky than borrowers with less money saved.
To maximise your chance of mortgage approval, save as much as you can before you apply.
Working out how much can you borrow
Before you start looking for your first home, you’ll need to work out how much you can afford.
First time buyers in Ireland can borrow up to four times their annual salary and if you’re buying a home with someone else, the loan to value is based on your combined secure income.
Lenders may have different lending criteria, but they all have to adhere to mortgage measures set by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Your mortgage repayments are repaid each month, so use a mortgage calculator to work out what monthly repayments you can afford based on your income and outgoings.
Bear in mind that other factors like your credit rating, dependants and other outgoings can also have an impact on your maximum mortgage.
How to find your first mortgage
Many lenders offer first time buyer mortgages designed specifically for borrowers purchasing a first home.
A good place to start your mortgage search is on a comparison website which lists Irish lenders and allows you to filter your results.
A mortgage broker can help you find the lowest mortgage rates and the best home loan for your individual circumstances.
Before you compare mortgage lenders, you’ll need to know:
- How much deposit you can put down
- How much you want to borrow (the mortgage amount)
- How long you need to borrow for (the term)
- The type of mortgage you want
Find out the mortgage company’s lending criteria before applying for a mortgage to increase your chance of a successful approval in principle.
Choosing the right type of mortgage
Most mortgages in Ireland are offered with fixed rates or variable rates.
Before applying for your mortgage, talk to a mortgage broker to decide which works best for you.
- Fixed rate mortgages: The interest rate remains the same for the duration of your mortgage deal. This means your monthly mortgage payments will stay the same, making it easier to budget each month.
- Variable rate mortgages: The interest rate changes depending on the European Central Bank (ECB) interest rates. This means the cheapest variable rates, could at times, be lower than fixed rates but will fluctuate according to the market rates.
Our Complete Guide to Mortgages explains the types of mortgages in more detail, including cashback mortgages and green mortgages.
If you want to talk to someone about choosing the right mortgage, consider speaking to a mortgage broker. They’ll be able to review your specific circumstances and recommend some suitable options.
Help for first time buyers in Ireland
There are several schemes that help first time buyers purchase their first home.
First time buyer FAQs
Am I a first time buyer if my partner has owned a home before?
No, if you apply for a joint mortgage with someone who has already owned a home you are not a first time buyer.
The Central Bank of Ireland states “Where the borrower under a housing loan is more than one person and one or more of those persons has previously been advanced a housing loan, none of those persons is a first-time buyer.”
How much deposit do I need as a first time buyer?
You’ll need at least 10% of the purchase price of the property.
How much is stamp duty for a first time buyer?
Stamp duty for first time buyers is the same as home movers, you can check the latest rates by reading our stamp duty guide.
What constitutes a first time buyer?
The Central Bank of Ireland defines a first time buyer as “a borrower to whom no housing loan has ever before been advanced.”
However, some lenders now support help to buy schemes for fresh start applicants, who may have owned a property in the past but have extenuating circumstances.
Are there any mortgage exemptions for first time buyers?
Yes, the Central Banks allows lenders to make some exceptions to the rules on lending limits. Every year, they’re alllowed to offer 15% of first time buyer mortgages above the income limit or reduce the deposit requirement.
With an exemption a first time buyer can borrow up to 4.5 times their income.
What is the Indicative APRC (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge)?
Mortgage lenders are required to quote the Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC) when advertising a borrowing rate.
The APRC shows you the total cost of a mortgage, including fees, over the entire period of the loan. Its purpose is to help you compare the true cost of borrowing.
For example, a 2 year fixed rate mortgage with an introductory rate of 1.99% and a booking fee of €999 that reverts to the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR) of 4.19% for the next 23 years ends up with an APRC of 3.7%.
The rate is indicative because it’s based on a typical mortgage of €100,000 over a 20 year term.