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Fears first-time buyer grant would push up home prices.

A Labour Party proposal to introduce a cash grant scheme for first-time buyers is likely to be shot down amid fears it would cause house prices to increase further.

The measures would mean the minister directs local authorities to provide cash grants to applicants struggling to get onto the property market in cities such as Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Dublin Central TD Joe Costello and party chairman Jack Wall said measures are needed to assist those trying to get onto the property ladder.

But senior Government sources have voiced caution over such a move, warning against any such measure that could cause house prices to escalate further.

Mr Kelly is also due to roll out a suite of measures aimed at stalling spiralling rent bills

Mortgage affordability improves slightly over last six months

Mortgage affordability has improved slightly over the last six months, according to lender EBS.

The EBS Affordability Index suggests that the proportion of disposable income required to fund a mortgage for the average first-time buyer working couple dropped to 19.5 per cent in April 2015, down from 20.6 per cent in October 2014.

As might be expected, the index shows that buyers in the Dublin housing market need a bigger chunk of their pay to meet their mortgage repayments.

In Dublin, a first-time buyer couple requires 22.6 per cent of earnings to fund their mortgage, down from 24.3 per cent in October 2014.

In Cork and Galway, the figure stands at 14.4 per cent and 13.4 per cent respectively.

Longford is the most affordable county in Ireland to buy a home, with a couple requiring only 6.9 per cent of their net income to fund their mortgage.