Local Authority Home Loan
From 4 January 2022, a new Government-backed mortgage scheme called Local Authority Home Loans are available to first-time buyers and Fresh Start applicants. This replaces the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan.
The scheme is for the purchase of new or second-hand residential properties and for self-builds. It also includes the purchase of homes through state schemes such as the Tenant Purchase Scheme and Affordable Housing Schemes, with the exception of the First Home Scheme.
A ‘Fresh Start’ principle means that people who are divorced or separated and have no interest in the family home, or who have undergone insolvency proceedings, will be eligible to apply under this Scheme. Local Authority Home Loans are available through all local authorities nationwide.
An Information booklet for applicants is available here.
Who can qualify for these loans?
To be eligible for a Local Authority Home Loan, you must:
- be a first-time buyer
- be aged between 18 and 70
- be in continuous employment for a minimum of two years as a primary applicant, or one year if you are a secondary applicant
- a single applicant must have an annual gross income of:
- not more than €65,000 in counties Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow
- under €50,000 in all other counties
- joint applicants must have an annual gross income of not more than €75,000 in all counties
- submit two years certified accounts if you are self-employed
- provide proof of insufficient mortgage offers of finance from two regulated financial providers
- not be a current or previous owner of residential property in or outside the Republic of Ireland, unless you are ‘Fresh Start’ applicant
- applicants are required to declare that they are first time buyers. They must authorise the Local Authority to conduct such checks as are necessary to confirm this, such as conducting Local Property Tax check.
- occupy the property as your normal place of residence
- purchase or self-build a property situated in the Republic of Ireland
- purchase or self-build a property which does not exceed the maximum market value applicable for the county in which it is located
- consent to a Central Credit Register check
- currently have a legal right to reside and work in the state and be able to demonstrate that they are habitually resident in Ireland
Eligibility is subject to submission of a complete Local Authority Home Loan application form and confirmation by your local authority.
What are the interest rates?
There are two different fixed interest rates available with a Local Authority Home Loan.
- 2.495% fixed for up to 25 years – this equates to an APRC of 2.52%
- 2.745% fixed for up to 30 years – this equates to an APRC of 2.78%
* Rates are subject to change. Mortgage rates are set on the date of drawdown of your loan.
All rates are exclusive of Mortgage Protection Insurance (MPI) which is a requirement of borrowing. Eligible borrowers are required to partake in the local authority collective MPI scheme. MPI is payable monthly, in addition to loan repayments.
With a fixed interest rate product your monthly repayments remain the same for the full fixed rate loan period, making budgeting easier – but during the fixed rate period you may be liable for a breakage fee if you pay off all or part of your mortgage early.
You should seek independent financial advice on which product is most suitable for you.
How much can you borrow?
With a Local Authority Home Loan you can borrow up to 90% of the market value of a residential property. Maximum market values of the property than can be purchased or self-built are:
- €320,000 in the counties Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow and
- €250,000 in the rest of the country.
This limits the amount you that can be borrowed to no more than €288,000 in counties Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow, and no more than €225,000 in the rest of the country.
How do you apply?
You need to complete the Local Authority Home Loan application form and provide the supporting documentation as listed, which you should then submit to your local authority. Your application will be assessed and you will be advised of the decision in writing.
You can find out more about the Local Authority Home Loan Scheme on their website.
Last updated on 17 January 2022