Mortgages in Northern Ireland

Looking to buy a house in Northern Ireland? Read our in-depth article to find out everything you need to know for your mortgage application.

Are you looking to mortgage a property in Northern Ireland?

Home Mortgage Application Mortgages In Northern Ireland
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

If you’re looking to buy a house in Northern Ireland, you might need a mortgage. But is the process any different to England?

Here, we explain how to get a mortgage in Northern Ireland, including what eligibility criteria and deposit requirements you’ll have to meet. We also look at the best way to source mortgage deals, any specific government schemes available, and what lenders could be options for you.

Are mortgages any different in Northern Ireland?

No, but there are fewer lenders that offer mortgages. As a result, products and rates won’t necessarily be different; it’s just you may have to pick from a smaller selection than you may have done in mainland UK. Additionally, many lenders have postcode restrictions in Northern Ireland.

The good news is there are brokers who specialise in the Northern Irish market, and they know exactly how to get the best deals.

How much is stamp duty in Northern Ireland?

Stamp duty rates and thresholds are the same as in England. Currently, unless you are a first-time buyer, the following rates are imposed on residential property purchases:

Property value Stamp duty rate
Up to £250,000 0%
Between £250,001 to £925,000 5%
Between £925,000 to £1.5 million 10%
Anything above £1.5 million 12%

If you’re a first-time buyer, you would pay no stamp duty up to £425,000 and 5% on anything between £425,000 and £625,000. If your potential property is more than £625,000, you’ll have to pay stamp duty as you would if you had bought a property before.

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Eligibility and deposit requirements

You’ll need to meet a provider’s criteria to apply for a mortgage successfully.

The criteria is generally no different for Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK, and it includes the following requirements…

  • Deposit. Lenders usually want a 10% deposit. However, you may find that you can access a mortgage where only 5% is needed. In general, though, the bigger the deposit you can put down the better. It improves your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) which often means you are offered better rates – which could make all the difference if you only have a few lenders to choose from.
  • Age. You have to be over 18 to get a mortgage, with many lenders preferring applicants to be 70 or under. Some may go a little older than this with higher maximum ages. A broker would be able to help you identify those providers.
  • Credit history. While lenders prefer clean credit histories, having issues with bad credit in the past will not always prevent you from getting a mortgage. It will depend on what the issue was, when it was, and whether your lender will accept it or not.
  • Income Source. Northern Irish lenders sometimes stipulate where your income needs to come from. For example, some may not consider commissions or bonuses as part of your salary.


Lenders in Northern Ireland use a multiple of your income to calculate how much you can borrow. In general, that multiple tends to be around 4 to 4.5 times. Some may go to 5 and you may be able to find a provider happy to go to 6 under the right circumstances. A mortgage broker who specialises in the Irish market would be your best bet to find such a lender.

Mortgage providers also want to ensure you can afford the loan they eventually extend. As a result, they often conduct affordability assessments and ‘stress test’ your ability to cover repayments.

To do this, they’ll look at your expenditure versus income to see whether you can:

  • Meet payments now
  • Withstand a future rise in interest rate

Try our calculator below to find out how much you could borrow.

Mortgage Affordability Calculator

Use this calculator to determine how much you could potentially borrow for a mortgage, based on the typical salary multiples used by most UK lenders.

Input full salaries for all applicants

Your Results:

You could borrow up to 

Most lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 4.5 times your household income, the standard calculation used by the majority of mortgage providers. To borrow more than this, you will need to use a mortgage broker to access specialist lenders.

Some lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 5 times your household income, a salary multiple you might struggle to qualify for without the help of a broker. This income multiple is not widely available to customers who are applying directly with a lender.

A minority of lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 6 times your household income, a salary multiple you will struggle to get without a broker. Six-times salary mortgages are usually only available under very specific circumstances.

Get Started with an expert broker to find out exactly how much you could borrow.

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Can you get a 100% mortgage?

No, not anymore. These types of products are a thing of the past now. As mentioned above, the best you can currently access in Northern Ireland is a 95% mortgage.

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Which mortgage lenders are available?

There are a number of mainstream high-street lenders offering mortgages in Northern Ireland. Names such as NatWest, Barclays and Virgin Money could all be options if you meet their eligibility requirements.

However, there are also more specialist lenders that a broker could help you identify too. For example, Kensington, Central Trust Limited and Progressive Building Society both provide mortgage products.

How to compare the best mortgage deals in Northern Ireland

It can be tempting simply to use a comparison website to find the best product for you. However, using a local broker is a better option owing to their knowledge of the smaller Northern Irish mortgage market. Plus, they have access to more rates than if you were to apply directly to a lender. A broker could, therefore, prove invaluable given the narrower selection of providers and how postcode restrictions can limit your options.

Importantly, they will advise you according to your own specific situation and will suggest the most suitable mortgages. They will often save you money by helping you secure a better rate with a payment structure that works for you.

Get in touch if you want us to connect you with a mortgage broker who specialises in the Northern Irish market.

Are any government schemes available?

Yes, there are – though you’ll need to meet all the requirements for them to be a possibility.

A broker could help you apply to the schemes which are genuine options for you.

  • Government Co-ownership scheme: This helps eligible people buy a share of a property while renting the rest from a housing association. It means buyers need a lower deposit while reducing their monthly repayments too. Elsewhere in the UK, this is known as Shared Ownership.
  • The 2021 mortgage guarantee scheme: To encourage mortgage lenders to reintroduce 5% deposit mortgages, the UK Government said it would guarantee a portion of any mortgage offered under this scheme. This scheme is currently available for applications until the end of December 2023.
  • Right to Buy: This helps those who have been in their rented council home for over 5 years. If you are eligible, you can purchase your home at a discounted price. In Northern Ireland, the maximum discount you could get is 60% of the valuation or £24,000.
  • Rent to Own: Backed by the co-ownership scheme, Rent to Own allows eligible candidates to rent a new build, with an opportunity to purchase the property at a later date. You can only live in the property for up to 3 years before either buying it or moving out.

Speak to a broker who specialises in Northern Irish mortgages

While the process for getting a mortgage in Northern Ireland is not necessarily different from England, having fewer lenders available could easily impact you. Having fewer options from which to choose, with the added complication of postcode restrictions, means seeking the help of a broker is beneficial.

With their expertise, you could access mortgages with better rates and better terms. You could therefore find you could borrow more and pay less interest than if you were to search the market on your own. Importantly, brokers can help ensure you get approved the first time you apply – helping to keep your credit score as healthy as possible.

Our free, no-obligation broker matching service will connect you with a local broker. Call us on 0808 189 2301 or enquire with us today so we can put you in touch with a specialist.

Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist in the Irish property market

Get Started Phone Icon 0808 189 2301


Yes, these are an option and a good way to get on the property ladder if you are struggling on your salary and deposit alone. These types of product won’t work for everyone given the risk to the guarantor if you don’t meet your mortgage payments.

Yes, you can. In fact, these types of loans can be more appropriate than a standard mortgage if you are thinking about building your own home or property. They can allow you to access funds as and when you require them – meaning you can keep your repayments lower overall.

You can read more in our article on self-build mortgages.

Absolutely. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria and deposit requirements set by potential lenders, it’s possible to get a mortgage to put your first foot on the property ladder in Northern Ireland.

You can read more in our article on first-time buyer mortgages.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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