Real estateWaterford City Council approved 15 local authority mortgages in 2012, more than double the number processed the previous year.
Newly released figures showed that the rate of City Council-approved loans jumped from 3 in 2011 to 15 in 2012.
Waterford City and County Councils tied for the highest number of local authority mortgages approved in 2012, at 15 each.
The figure for the current year stands at three in the city and one in the county. Several local authorities have not approved any mortgages this year, with Waterford City Council the only City Council outside Dublin to do so.
The local authority mortgage scheme is predominantly utilised by first-time buyers who are turned down a loan from their bank.
The loan can be up to 97 per cent of the price of the house subject to a maximum loan of €220,000 and subject to repayments which are no more than 35 per cent of the household net income.
Under the terms of a local authority mortgage, a single applicant must be earning under €50,000; the eligibility rate for couples is under €75,000.
If the applicant is the primary earner, they must be in continuous employment for at least two years – which can be self employment – and the second applicant must have at least one year. There are currently 20,000 mortgage holders on the housing loan books of local authorities nationwide.
The latest figures from the Department of the Environment show that almost one third of local authority mortgages are in arrears.