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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.

#Thrifty Thursday- Online Billing

Utility companies have been accused of “fleecing” their customers by charging them for paper billing.

And there have been calls for An Post branches to put systems in place to help people who are missing out on savings of hundreds of euro a year because they do not use the internet to pay bills. Research has found those who do not use websites to get the best deals are losing out on savings of up to €400 a year.

Almost one in five adults do not use the web, according to the Central Statistics Office, and utility firms reserve their best deals for those prepared to make transactions online and switch from getting a bill in the post to online billing. One TV and broadband supplier, UPC, charges €42 a year for issuing postal bills. Insurance firms offer discounts of up to 20pc for families prepared to use the web to conduct business, with mobile phone, energy companies and banks all offering the best deals for online transactions.

Our Thrifty Thursday advice is ‘Don’t get fleeced’, many utility firms will use any opportunity to add on extra charges to loyal customers. So, until there is some reform to this area of unfair charges- get wise and get online!