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Increase in first-time buyers moving to Dublin commuter belt

One economist warned that this increased activity will put pressure on the infrastructural needs in these areas.

Image: Shutterstock/WDG Photo

THERE HAS BEEN an increase in the cohort of first-time buyers who move to the Dublin commuter belt, as average house prices continue to rise across the country, particularly in the capital.

The latest Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) housing market monitor found that housing supply continued to grow in the third quarter of this year.

This was mainly driven by a significant increase in apartment building, though BPFI pointed out this started at a low base. 

Some 7,600 dwelling units were commenced during the quarter, bringing the total number to 19,856 in the first nine months of 2019. 

The monitor identified an increasing drift of first-time buyers moving to the Dublin commuter belt, with 41% of first-time-buyer mortgages on property in this area involving buyers moving county. 

Back in 2016, those moving county to the commuter belt – Louth, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow – accounted for 33% of first-time buyers. 

Ali Uğur, chief economist at BPFI said first-time buyers continue to face affordability challenges, despite stabilising house prices. He said this places serious limitations on where they can afford to buy, particularly in Dublin and is likely to negatively impact on the wider economy.

“Regional mobility perhaps shows the flexibility of the workforce in the Irish economy, however it should be noted that the pattern of more residential housing activity taking place in the Dublin Commuter belt is likely to put pressure on the infrastructural needs in these areas, which is likely to have a negative impact on the overall competitiveness of the Irish economy,” he said.

“In addition, price developments are seriously limiting potential buyers’ preference, particularly first time buyers, to live in areas closer to where they work or currently live, as average income levels of this cohort of potential customers are affected by the macroprudential framework in place for mortgage lending taking into account average price levels, particularly in Dublin.”

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