The level of income first time buyers need to get on the housing ladder has 'never been greater', according to a new report.
The Banking and Payments Federation (BPFI) study finds that households now need a combined income of €77,000 to get a first-time mortgage - up from €71,000 in 2019.
It notes that just over half of first-time buyers in 2005 had incomes of €60,000 or less - a figure that has now fallen to just 13%.
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BPFI Chief Brian Hayes said it is a "very difficult time for first-time buyers".
"The standout conclusion of the report is that new mortgage customers are needing higher incomes to purchase homes," he said.
"If you consider where we are just at the end of last year where the average was €77,000 - that is countrywide of course - that was up from €71,000 in 2019
"In a period of two years, the average or the mean has gone up by about €6,000.
"So, it is a very difficult time for first time buyers especially or people without equity in terms of trying to pitch for a house and get their foot on the housing ladder. Of that there is no doubt."
Mr Hayes said Irish lenders are expected to approve around 25% more money in mortgages this year than in 2020.
"This year, we expect that in excess of €12bn on the mortgage side will be lent by Irish banks and non-banks in Ireland," he said.
"That is up by about €2bn from last year and it is up about €3bn from the previous year.
"Even though COVID was a big factor in dulling the market I suppose for the last two and half years it is still a very significant uptick in the overall lending profile by Irish banks and Irish non-banks in Ireland and it shows that there is a very significant pent-up demand there as we know because of household formation and demographic factors in Ireland."
The BPFI report also finds that, while first-time buyers generally purchase in their own counties, the Dublin commuter belt is a notable exception.
Dubliners accounted for nearly one-third of first-time buyer mortgages on properties in Meath, Kildare and Wicklow last year.
They also accounted for 17% - 24% of mover purchase mortgages.
The report suggests this may be because incomes in Dublin are higher than in other counties and homes in the capital also generally have a higher value.