Getting a Mortgage in Ireland

Find out everything you need to know to get a mortgage in Ireland.

Home Overseas Mortgages Getting A Mortgage In Ireland
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: April 8, 2024

Ireland and the UK are both part of the Common Travel Area, meaning that citizens from either country are welcome to live and work in the other, without needing a visa or residency permit.

As a result, it’s not unusual for people living in the UK to want a mortgage to buy a property in Ireland, either because they’re an Irish citizen planning to move home at some point, or a British citizen wanting a home in the EU. These mortgages aren’t as easily available as you might hope, but we’ll explain how to find one.

Can UK residents get a mortgage in Ireland?

To get an Irish mortgage, you’ll usually need to live and work in Ireland. If you don’t, you’ll need to find a non-resident mortgage (regardless of where you have citizenship). The Irish mortgage market is smaller than the UK, and non-resident mortgages aren’t offered by all lenders, so there aren’t many of these available.

You are more likely to be able to get a non-resident mortgage if:

  • You have a high income
  • You have a large deposit
  • You can demonstrate a connection to Ireland
  • You’re paid in euros (most lenders won’t consider applicants paid in pounds sterling)

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

Rules and lending criteria

Some of the rules and lending criteria for non-resident mortgages are the same as a conventional mortgage, but others are stricter.

Here’s a summary:

  • Age. Most providers have a maximum age limit of 70 or 75 at the end of the mortgage term.
  • Employment status. Unlike conventional mortgages, you’ll usually need to be a salaried employee (i.e. not self-employed or a business owner) to get a non-resident mortgage.
  • Deposit. You’ll need at least a 30% deposit if you’re a non-resident (compared to only 10% if you’re a resident).
  • Income. Non-resident mortgages are often only available to applicants with high salaries, e.g. over €75,000.
  • Credit history. A good credit history is preferred for both but has a higher importance for non-resident mortgages.
  • Insurance. In either case, you will almost always need to show that you have home insurance and life insurance.

How to get a mortgage in the Republic of Ireland

For the best chance of securing a non-resident mortgage, follow this three-step process.

1. Speak to an Irish mortgage specialist

With so few lenders in the market, it can be frustratingly difficult for foreigners and non-residents to find one. It’s best to find a broker who specialises in Irish mortgages for UK clients. If you’d like us to connect you with someone, get in touch.

2. Get an agreement in principle

It’s sensible to get a mortgage agreement in principle before you even start to look at properties. This way, you can be fairly confident that you’ll qualify and have a rough idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow before you make your full mortgage application.

3. Collate your paperwork

In the UK, a lot of mortgage approvals are automated but, in Ireland, the system is largely manual, which is more time-consuming. You can streamline the process by anticipating and providing the documents you’ll need in good order. Your broker will help with this and tell you what to submit as proof of ID, proof of address, proof of income, etc.

We're so confident in our service, we guarantee it.

We know it's important for you to have complete confidence in our service, and trust that you're getting the best chance of mortgage approval at the best available rate. We guarantee to get your mortgage approved where others can't - or we'll give you £100*

Happy approved couple

How much could you borrow?

Ireland has strict rules on how much you can borrow relative to your income. As of January 2023, first-time buyers can borrow up to four times their gross annual income and all other buyers can borrow up to 3.5 times their income.

To borrow this amount, you’ll also need to pass your lender’s ‘stress test’, which examines your income and expenditure to assess whether you’ll be able to afford the mortgage repayments. This is generally based on 12 months of bank statements.

If your income is in a currency other than euros, there will be a currency risk component to this stress test (i.e. if the value of your currency fell by 20% against the euro, would you still be able to afford the repayments?). So, you can realistically only borrow 3.5 times 80% of your income.

If you’d like to calculate how much you could borrow, try our mortgage calculator.

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.

Get Started

Lenders offering Irish mortgages

There are only ten lenders who currently offer Irish mortgages, and only a handful offer non-resident mortgages. These include AIB and Permanent TSB, though Permanent TSB requires that your salary is paid in euros.

Bear in mind that, if your application is declined by a lender, you may need to wait several months before reapplying to the same lender, and you might not have many other options. So, it’s sensible to apply through a broker rather than directly, to avoid any errors that could jeopardise your approval.

Buy-to-let mortgages in Ireland

Since you won’t be living in the property (as you’ll be in the UK), you’ll almost always need a buy-to-let mortgage. These require a large deposit (at least 30% and potentially 40-45%) and have a higher mortgage rate (around 2% higher than a conventional mortgage).

Non-resident buy-to-let mortgages in Ireland are not usually interest-only. You’ll need to make capital repayments as well as interest, which can make your property investment less attractive. The rental income will need to cover at least 120% of the monthly repayment.

Getting a holiday home mortgage

Though even rarer, one other option to buy a property in Ireland without living there is with a holiday home mortgage. It works in the same way as a buy-to-let mortgage except that you won’t be receiving a rental income on the property (and you won’t be allowed to let the property).

To prove to lenders that you can afford the property on these terms, you’ll likely need an income of at least €150,000 a year, a spotless credit history, and a deposit of at least 35% of the property value.

Remortgaging in Ireland

If you buy a property in Ireland as a non-resident but later move into it, you’ll need to remortgage with a conventional mortgage. You may also need to remortgage for other reasons, such as switching to a more competitive rate or increasing your borrowing to fund home improvements.

Remortgaging in Ireland works in the same way as remortgaging in the UK, except that you’ll have fewer deals to choose from. You’ll need to check whether you’ll pay any fees for leaving your current lender before shopping around to find a new lender.

Speak to an Irish mortgage specialist

For people hoping to buy a property in Ireland, it’s unfortunate that non-resident mortgages are not more readily available or easy to understand. One option is to postpone buying until you’re based in the country and have a job there, so that you have access to other mortgages.

The other option is to speak to a specialist in the Irish mortgage market, who can give you expert advice that’s tailored to your situation. If you’d like, we can match you with a broker with relevant experience. Just call us on 0808 189 2301 or make a quick online enquiry.

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

FAQs

Yes, it’s possible to get a second home mortgage to buy a property in Ireland while living elsewhere. However, to pass the mortgage lender’s income assessment and stress test, you’ll usually need a very high and reliable salary.

In certain circumstances, Irish residents may be able to get a mortgage with the help of a guarantor (someone who’ll make the repayments if you fail to). However, this option is not available for non-residents.

Yes. There is a Help to Buy scheme for first-time buyers purchasing a house or flat in Ireland for under €500,000. It gives a refund of the income tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) you have paid in Ireland over the previous four tax years. So, to be eligible, you must have paid taxes in Ireland for those four years.

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

Maximise your chances of approval, whatever your situation - Find your perfect overseas mortgage broker

By browsing our site you consent to our use of cookies.