Expert says Central Bank should not change mortgage lending rules

Regulations were brought in at the beginning of last year

A prominent housing expert is warning the Central Bank not to change its mortgage lending rules.

The bank is due to publish a review of its mortgage lending rules later.

Regulations around how much banks can lend in relation to people's income, and deposit levels were brought in at the beginning of last year.

Deposits of up to 20% are required before potential homeowners can take out a mortgage.

In the cases for first time buyers, mortgages of up to 80% can only be taken out on properties worth over €220,000.

The bank had invited "written public submissions that provide evidence-based analyses of the impact of the rules."

Speaking in April, Governor Philip Lane confirmed that the general framework is intended to be a permanent feature.

But he said that any changes will require a "high evidence threshold" and that the calibration of these rules can be "tightened, loosened or left unchanged".

DIT housing lecturer Lorcan Sirr says the housing crisis is a supply issue - which cannot be solved by the Central Bank.

"Their role is recognise or to make sure that we have a stable, financial system - and the housing market is kind of ancillary to that.

"Their focus won't be on sorting out housing supply, their focus will be making sure that the banks have enough reserves and that the banks are lending prudently".

Speaking earlier Sinn Féin's spokesperson on housing, Eoin O'Broin, said the Government needs to work to lower the cost of housing.

But he said the current regulations should not be changed.