Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Questions (86)

Michael McGrath


86. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the reason the Central Bank deems a returning emigrant who never owned a residential property here but did abroad for a period of time as a non-first-time buyer; his views on whether this classification is unfair; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24466/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

For the purposes of the Central Bank residential mortgage lending rules, a first time buyer is defined as a borrower to whom no housing loan has ever before been advanced. Where the borrower under a housing loan is more than one person and one or more of those persons has previously been advanced a housing loan, none of those persons is a first-time buyer. However, the Central Bank also introduced proportionate limits in their mortgage lending rules specifically to allow flexibility by lenders when assessing individual cases, such as may be the case in instances referred to in the Deputy’s question. The proportionate limits mean that lenders are able to make decisions based on the borrower’s circumstances up to a specific limit. Nevertheless, lenders will still be required to assess the borrower’s affordability and lend prudently on a case by case basis, in line with the requirements of the Consumer Protection Code and other relevant regulations.