‘It’s going to drive house prices up’ - Room to Improve’s Patricia Power on new mortgage lending rules

Quantity surveyor Patricia Power

Patricia Power from Room to Improve

Ciara O'Loughlin

One of Ireland’s leading quantity surveyors has said the new mortgage lending rules are especially beneficial for first-time buyers, but it will lead to house prices rising.

Patricia Power, who is known for appearing in RTÉ’s Room to Improve alongside Dermot Bannon, said allowing people to now borrow four times their salary instead of three and a half, will mean more first-time buyers will be able to get on the property ladder.

“I think it’s really beneficial for the first-time buyer, it gives them more of a chance of getting on the property ladder, and considering they’re paying rent, which is greater than the mortgage, it just makes sense, but at the same time, it will flood more into that market,” she told the Irish Independent at the Ideal Home Fair in the RDS.

“Hopefully we will see the effect, but again, it’s possibly going to drive house prices up again. It will be more demand and a low supply, the price is gonna go up because people will bid for it and people will fight for it and people will want it.”

The quantity surveyor said she always recommends that people try to build a home if it’s a possibility, as big savings can be made.

She also recommends first-time buyers not to rule out second-hand homes, as renovations don’t always have to be done at once, meaning the cost can be spread out.

“I definitely think look at the doer-upper,” she said. “You should be paying less for it, you need to talk to your mortgage consultant about getting the mortgage and then a loan to do the work.

“Some people prefer to live in it for maybe six months to a year to get a feel first and then do it up, so there are options and there are grants available if you want to upgrade the home all at once or if you’re going to upgrade at the one time, or there are individual grants that you can get over time.

Ms Power agreed that it’s much more difficult to build and buy in cities, so she thinks people should look outside of the pale and keep their options open.

“I think look at all the options as you’d be surprised how quickly you can settle into a community,” she said.

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