Explainer - What are the mortgage measures?

Mortgage Measures

The mortgage measures were introduced in 2015 and are an essential macroprudential policy instrument to safeguard economic and financial stability.

With the mortgage measures, the Central Bank aims to ensure sustainable lending standards in the mortgage market.

In doing so, the Central Bank aims to:

  • Prevent the emergence of an unsustainable relationship between credit and house prices
  • Support the resilience of borrowers, lenders and the broader economy
  • Take into account both the economic benefits and costs that the measures pose.

How do they work?

The measures set limits1 on the amount of money that can be borrowed to buy residential property using:

  • Loan-to-Income (LTI) limit
  • Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit.

Loan-to-Income limit

The LTI limit restricts the amount of money you can borrow to a maximum of 4 times gross income for first-time-buyers and 3.5 times gross income for second/subsequent buyers.

So, for example, a first-time buyer couple with a combined income of €100,000 can borrow up to a maximum of €400,000.

A second and subsequent buyer with the same income can borrow up to a maximum of €350,000.

Loan-to-Value limit

The LTV limit requires you to have a minimum deposit before you can get a mortgage. The size of this deposit depends on which category of buyer you are.

  • First-time-buyers and second/subsequent buyers need to have a minimum deposit of 10%
  • Buy-to-let buyers need to have a minimum deposit of 30%.


Banks and other lenders can lend a certain amount above the limits.

The proportion of lending allowed above the limits applies at the level of the borrower type, such that:

  • 15 per cent of first-time-buyer lending can take place above the limits.
  • 15 per cent of second and subsequent buyer lending can take place above the limits.
  • 10 per cent of buy-to-let-buyer lending can take place above the limits.

Ireland is not alone in introducing these kinds of mortgage measures.

Many other EU countries have introduced some form of macroprudential mortgage regulation to help safeguard their national financial systems.

1Limits effective 1 January 2023. See information on previous reviews and limits.

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