Pulling Up The Ladder


…Incomes around the average industrial wage are always difficult to fulfil the criteria,” says [Financial adviser Michael] Dowling.

Indeed, he ran an income of €37,000 for a single person through all the banks’ calculators and all he could come up with the amount they could borrow was bang smack in line with the Central Bankrules, of 3.5 times income.

This would give a total mortgage of just €129,500, or a purchase price of about €143,333.

While this would mean monthly repayments of about €530 a month, and would thus be affordable based on our would-be buyer’s net income of about €2,500 a month, it’s still unlikely to get our buyer very far in Dublin.

“If the loan amount is €129,500 then they’d need an exceptional deposit built up, or to get a gift, to buy in a Dublin context,” Dowling says.

It’s also important to remember that to qualify for just this amount, our applicant would also need to carry no further additional debt; a car loan or holiday loan would make that figure shrink even more

Can I buy a home in Dublin on an average wage? (Fiona Reddin, Irish Times)


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52 thoughts on “Pulling Up The Ladder

  1. George

    They need to hire an editor. There is a basic error in both of the first two sentences…

  2. postmanpat

    The cartel has to push those crappy shoebox fla–sorry “apartments” somehow. Move home with the folks and save like a miser for 3 years to get the cash and buy a real house that’s hopefully within the county. DO NOT BUY A FLAT YOU WILL REGRET IT. There is no such thing as “the property ladder” especially when it comes to fl—apartments. You will be legally signed into a management company contract which will cost you another 2 or 3 month mortgage every year and watch in horror as you slip further and further into negative equity. If your income is 2500 a month you and the bank know you can afford 1000+ a month . hell your rent could be 1500+ at the moment. but as I say there’s too many consortiums trying to make money off too many crappy flats they have manipulated the banks to lending just enough for customers to buy them. Move home with the folks kids (of don’t move out) tell mom & dad to get stuffed with “rent”, live off a few hundred quid a month for 4 years and save. wait , and make a good purchase the first time.

  3. fez

    much as I agree that it’s impossible for someone to get a house without a serious salary or deposit, I have never understood holiday loans

    1. Cian

      A “holiday loan” is when the bank lends you money to go on holidays. They give you the money for your holiday now and then you then pay the money back to the bank in smaller amounts over the next few months. You pay the bank more money back than they gave you – this is called “interest”.


      1. Janet, I ate my avatar but I'm trying to stop

        ah Cian you know that’s not what does meant

  4. Vanessa the Holy Face of Frilly Keane

    Since t’was raised about the Sunday Business Post
    Transparency and Special Interests etc

    Can anyone tell us was Michael Dowling properly introduced by the Irish Times?

    Mortgage Broker, President ( maybe former) of the Irish Mortgage Brokers Assoc – pensions, insurance and other related commission paid products
    Also Licenced PIP and Debt Management Advisor
    The Examiner and R1 Drive Time use him for Insolvency / Family Home Mortgage Arrears
    R1 SOR use him for Mortgage Brokering stuff, an so now do the Times

  5. Qwerty123

    This is what affordable homes should be for, public sector workers priced out of Dublin. Instead they are given to the council to house the can work wont work brigade.

    1. Col

      If we’re talking about what SHOULD be the case, house prices should be roughly in line with wages. The market is broken.

    2. senbob

      public sector got their benchmarking bullpoo and helped along with the FF elite to drive up the bubble.

      They where quite happy then to screw new entrants to protect their gold plated pensions.

      Remember the days when a public sector job didnt pay great but the trade off was job security and a great pension?

      1. George

        I remember when a public sector job meant you could buy a house. They still don’t pay that well. A clerical officer starts on just over 20,000.

          1. George

            No, it isn’t. It is only 1145 quid more than the minimum wage and is less than the living wage. It is not good money in any sense.

          2. postmanpat

            Handy number too, just as long as you work in an office and never transfer to any of the horrible Garda stations.

          3. realPolithicks

            384 euro per week is “good money to start on” according to the chief government spokesperson here on broadsheet.

          4. Cian

            Ooooh! selective quoting!
            I said “For a job that has no educational requirement 20K is good money to start on.”

            How much would you pay a 17-year-old with no leaving cert?

          5. realPolithicks

            I would pay them a living wage cian, one which enables them to live a reasonable life and be able to do things like say..pay the rent….

          6. Mickey Twopints

            Minimum rate for a car park attendant or floor sweeper on a building site (no experience, day one) is €510 for a 37 hour week. Weekend working is time and a half for the first four hours, double time after.

          7. GiggidyGoo

            So, in order to get the €20k job as clerical officer in the public service, Cian reckons that there is no educational requirement.
            Maybe not to get a job as a shill Cian?

          8. Cian

            I looked at a job spec for a clerical officer. And there were no minimum requirements. If you can find one that states any education requirements I’ll withdraw my statement.

            I can’t prove a negative. But you could prove me wrong.

        1. curmudgeon

          Where are all the clerical worker positions in the private sector? Oh thats right they’ve been automated out of existence, unlike the public sector which pays them 38k and keep the system archaic.

          1. George

            Clerical officers perform roles such as P.A. You will find many of these in the private sector.

          2. postmanpat

            Where are all the cushy private clerical jobs? In the private sector, it’s who you know. There’s plenty of “sister-in-law of the area manger” 50yo auldwan types drinking tea and doing up weekly work rotas for the staff and minimal accounting in all sorts of businesses up and down the country earning 30-40k while the floor staff and drivers work twice as hard for half the pay.

        2. Qwerty123

          When was that George? Always was an issue, especially in Dublin – e.g. EBS Building Society was founded in 1935 by Alex McCabe and other teachers to provide affordable housing finance for teachers and other civil servants.

    3. curmudgeon

      Ah God love the public sector, only 40% better paid than their private sector counterparts and with job security, defined benefit pensions, fewer working hours and earlier retirement, fully paid parental leave, more holidays, more paid sick leave and lower % employee turnover rate. Yes they really need it the most.

  6. senbob

    The 3.5 cap is now a serious issue. It was good to deal with the mess of the recession but now its not helping.

    Propose that with a record of 2 years of rental payments you should be entitled to borrow 5 times your salary. At that rate your mortgage would still be less then current rentals for houses in teh major cities.

    There is something serioulsy wrong in a society when a professional on the average wage is priced out of buying anywhere in the major cities of a small country.

    1. Qwerty123

      No, that will induce another credit fueled bubble. The current bubble is due to the fact there is a shortage of houses in key locations, build more. Alternatively, wages need to increase, or weighted if you live in Dublin. A nurse/Guard/Prison officer etc on the same wages if they live in ballygobackwards or Dublin. That aint right

    2. Andrew

      people proposing the increase of the borrowing cap are either stupid or are shills. It’s an idiotic suggestion.

    3. Rob_G

      This is the stupidest suggestion I have ever seen. Not just in relation to the housing crisis; on any topic.

    4. Lobster

      Uncontrolled rental costs and no limits on purchasing houses from abroad lead to wealth transfers from Irish people to international funds. Irish homes were purchased to be rented to people who couldn’t afford to buy them, though buying would have lower monthly payment rates.
      A direct result of FFG policies, including NAMA selling to international funds rather than at auction to Irish people.
      This crisis is utterly man made, and FG still want to believe Maria Bailey stopped people from voting for them. My FG voting parents now refuse to support them as they see me emigrate again to an EU country where we can set up a life, rather than stay here while they age.

      1. rotide

        “FG still want to believe Maria Bailey stopped people from voting for them”

        They don’t believe this as their vote didn’t appreciably change in the local election

        Carry on though

      2. Cian

        Rubbish. What percentage of rentals are international funds?

        In 2017, according to RTB, the vast majority of landlords (86%) had either one (70%) or two (16%) tenancies if you include landlords with 3, 4 and 5 tenancies you get 97%.

        1. Lobster


          Hard to get proper sources on it, and I appreciate I’m not changing your mind on this, but this crisis has been brewing long enough if there was political will to deal with it, it would have been dealt with.

        2. GiggidyGoo

          Good man Cian. Count the number of landlords and not the number of properties. FGnomics graduate obviously.

          1. Cian

            Good point, but RTB don’t publish the number of properties only number of landlords…
            Can you provide numbers?

  7. FFS

    The average full-time earnings of a person in Ireland was €46k in 2017. Probably about €48k/€49k now.

    Using the average earnings as the metric is daft, as it includes [b]every[/b] worker, be they a secondary school student working in Spar or a retired teacher doing substitution work or a full-timer working for Google.

      1. Qwerty123

        Maybe his point is that if the average wage is higher, around 50k, that would put you range in the 200k bracket, which would allow you to buy or in the market for 300 properties in that price range on daft in Dublin. In reality, people buying houses would be most likely a couple and would would have higher wages given the average price currently.

  8. BS

    I’m on more than the “average industrial wage” (is that based on the public sectore?) and probably on less than some of the stupid private sectore tech wage, and i still couldnt afford a house on the 3.5 first time buyers rule.
    Any new gaffs ive seen, or that people I know have bought have been min 400k, and thats outside dublin. Theyve gotten mortgages for 350k and saved 50 between 2 people. How can a single person save 50k on 2,500 a month?
    live at home
    have no bills
    not go out
    not have a car
    not have any holidays
    never eat out or have a social life

    what a life to live. thanks Leo

      1. BS

        Commuter belt. Kildare. Meath. You know, somewhere only an hour or so away from Dublin. Is that too much to ask?

        1. Cian

          Go to myhome.ie and search by county. Max price = 300,000
          There are over 1000 houses in Kildare (484) and Meath (526) for under €300,000.

  9. David O'Connell

    i dont see what the fuss is. Dublin is now full. so everyone is moving to the commuter belt.

    143k will get you a one bed apartment adequate for your needs in a commuter zone

    if there is couple, then 143k for each brings up to 290,000 which will easily buy a second hand 3 or 4 bed house in a commuter zone.

    the paradox to my argument is that it is the commuter zone. as in commuting to dublin. but soon, every emplyoer will move outside dublin and thus these commuter areas will become new workplaces. look at dundalk, its looking to be designated a city. Naas has doubled in size in 10 years.

  10. Dr.Fart MD

    So Cian, on another thread you were telling me how everyone in ireland has a house and the only people with nowhere to live are the 11k homeless. Does this do anything to open one of your blind eyes to the housing crisis?

    1. Cian

      I have never denied there is a housing crisis. The solution is to build more homes.

      This thread isn’t refuting that fact.

      1. Dr.Fart MD

        on the housing crisis you said “4.7 million people have a house. 11k don’t.” .. you laid out those figures like that to try illustrate all being well in housing. there’s no other reason. it was also hugely simplifying whats goin on with housing. completely ignoring rent issues while weirdly claiming nearly everyone has a house? very weird stuff.

        1. Cian

          I fail to see your point. Was I wrong? The vast majority of people (99.75%) have a home (either owner or renter), the other are supported to get a roof over their head. There are also supports for rough-sleepers.

          71% of households are owner-occupiers (CSO 2016); 9% are rented from local authority. 20% are renters. Only 20% of households are renters. The housing-crisis only affect 1-in-5.

          As I said before, Ireland is in a good place. It can, and should, improve – but it is not the horrible place that some posters say it is.

  11. SOQ

    And that is the slant Qwerty123, barging for social housing drowns out the working poor, even on Broadsheet. Take a walk up or down around Pearse street / Grand Canal Dock to see it first hand. Every young wan pushing a pram around there is a virgin Mary apparently.

    Yet people are expected to commute four hours a day or in Leo’s words ‘get up early’. None of those people are asking for a hand out, just somewhere within a reasonable commute, somewhere in the city that they can home.

    If they want start a family then they up-size somewhere else.

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