Dubliner who had five ‘sale agreed’ deals fall through says buying a home in Derry is ‘100pc more doable’

Dubliner Kieran Kelly has been trying to get on the property ladder for over a decade. Photo: Frank McGrath

Kieran Kelly from Raheny. Photo: Frank McGrath

Paul Hyland

A prospective homeowner has said that while the Central Bank’s move to change lending rules is “good news” in general, he is concerned it will also drive prices up still further.

From January, first-time buyers will be able to borrow up to four times their income for a mortgage – while second-time buyers will need a 10pc rather than a 20pc deposit.

Dubliner Kieran Kelly (33) has been trying to get on the property ladder for over a decade – and after much heartache, he let his mortgage approval lapse earlier this year. During that time, he also had five ‘sale agreed’ deals fall through.

Now Mr Kelly, who works as a logistics analyst, is moving to Derry for a new job – and hopes he will have more luck north of the Border.

He said buying a home in Derry was “100pc more doable”.

“I’ve already looked up rentals in Derry city. I could rent a two-bed house for £600 or a two-bed apartment for £500,” said Mr Kelly.

“If it did work out and I decided to live and work there for the medium-to long-term, I would only need a small mortgage. Property is that cheap up there.”

However, he said those hoping to buy in the south should “tread with caution”, because he believed the Central Bank changes would heap further pressure on house prices.

“It is a positive move, especially for first-time buyers. The only thing I would say is tread with caution.

“While the Central Bank change is to be welcomed – because more people will have access to more money – it comes with a health warning,” said Mr Kelly.

“It’s a catch-22. You want to get people on the ladder, but there’s a lack of supply, and maybe it’s too late. The cynical side of me would say it’s a little coincidental that price growth has gone below 1pc and now they introduce this.

“Is it really for the benefit of first-time buyers, or is it to help owner-occupiers, landlords, whoever else? I honestly believe it will increase property prices.”

Leaving behind the “frustration” of house hunting would be a relief, he added.  “It’ll give me a chance to move out, which I’ve been dying to do. I’m nearly 34. I’ve had five ‘sale agreed’ deals fall through, and all the hassle that goes with that. So it will ease the pressure off me,” said Mr Kelly. “If this move does work out, I’d only need a small mortgage – and I think I can get better value in Derry than in Dublin.

“It’s a frustrating process – going on Daft.ie, going to viewings – and then you’re faced with the same result: someone else bids more for it, or else a vulture fund bids for it. It’s just heartbreaking.

“There are even people getting work-from-home jobs and moving to Spain. I’ve heard a number of people doing that. There’s a younger generation who are all emigrating – and it’s largely because of housing. It’s not like it was 10 years ago when it was because of unemployment.”

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