What do you think of these figures?
Carlow is among the top ten worst in the country for mortgage approval recommendations from the Housing Agency, new figures have revealed.
A councillor previously expressed his concern over the local authority mortgage approval rate for 2018 and asked why it is "so low" but the latest figures for the year show that only sixteen were recommended for approval by the State's Housing Agency.
Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing for the number of Rebuilding Ireland home loan applications by local authority; the number of such loans approved by each local authority; and the number of loans drawn down by each local authority in 2018.
Minister Eoghan Murphy did not provide the number of loans approved by local authority but instead provided figures, as at the end of December 2018, which showed the Housing Agency had recommended a total of 1,550 applications for approval since the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme launched.
In Carlow, out of 46 applications they assessed in 2018, the Housing Agency said it recommended that Carlow County Council approve sixteen.
The Housing Agency provides a central support service which assesses loan applications that are made to the local authorities and makes recommendations to the authorities as to whether loans should be offered to applicants.
Out of the 31 local authorities, the only ones which had a worse rate of mortgage approval recommendation were: Leitrim County Council (2); Monaghan County Council (6); Cavan County Council (7); Kilkenny County Council (15); Longford County Council (15); Offaly County Council (14); Waterford City & County Council (14) and Roscommon County Council (13).
Despite the Housing Agency figures, 28 out of 69 local authority mortgage applications in Carlow were approved last year.
As with the previous local authority home loan offerings, loan applications under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan are made directly to the local authority in whose area the property proposed for purchase is situated.
Since February last year, local authorities have been offering Rebuilding Ireland home loans, a Government backed initiative which aims to offer low-cost mortgages to purchasers who have difficulty in securing finance from the main lenders.
Each local authority must have in place a credit committee and it is a matter for the committee to make the decision on applications for loans, in accordance with the regulations, having regard to the recommendations made by the Housing Agency.