Our young see little option to buy a home


Is it any wonder that young adults are of the opinion that they may be much older before it becomes feasible to purchase their own home – or even will not be able at all in the future.

This is borne out in the recent ESRI report with their findings showing Ireland has the fourth highest rate of homeownership for households aged 40+ (just under 80%), but only the 10th highest for households aged under 40 (34%), resulting in one of the biggest gaps in ownership rates between younger and older generations.

More than one-in-four young adults aged 25-34 in Ireland remained living with parents and Ireland saw the largest rise in this share in the intervening time.

In a new study of housing prices, Co Kilkenny comes 15th in the league of house price increases between the years 2010 to 2022. In 2010 the average price was €209,911.39 and in 2022 the average was €284,960.95; that’s a 36% increase or in monetary terms €75,049.56.

The study conducted by Storage World Self Storage analysed house prices to calculate the price change and the percentage increase over 12 years.

As to be expected Co Dublin’s growth is considerably higher making it nearly a separate case compared with all other counties with an 80% price increase over the years, from €332,941.86 to €598,906.89, a total rise of €265,955.03. Second on the list is Wicklow, with a 68% increase. In 2010 the average price for a house was €293,963.28, meanwhile, in 2022, it was €494,460.59 – a rise of €200,497.31. Kildare is third, with a 63% increase from 2010 to 2022. Waterford is ninth with 44%, and Wexford closes the top ten with a 43% increase.

Younger adults are not the only affected cohort as the the 2022 census showed a disturbing trend developing for older people. The rate of home ownership is continuing to decline along with an increase in renters aged 65 and over. There was a significant increase in the number of households with people aged 65 and over renting from a private landlord to almost 17,000 households, up 83% since 2016.

The total number of occupied rental properties in the 2022 census was 513,704, up from 469,671 in 2016. This includes properties rented from a private landlord (330,632), local authority (153,192) or voluntary/co-operative housing body (29,880). In the 2016 to 2022 period, the number of occupied dwellings rented from a private landlord increased by 7% to more than 330,000.

A new research report by the national housing charity Threshold and Alone has found that a quarter of older renters expect to remain in the private rental sector for life, as they felt no other accommodation options were available. Older renters are more likely to be living alone and renting for longer periods than their younger counterparts in the sector. They are also more likely to be in receipt of rental assistance. Those aged 65+ and renting from a private landlord are likely to be spending more than 35% of their disposable income on rent (CSO 2021).

CEO of Alone Seán Moynihan, said: “The report highlights what we have seen building and have been campaigning on for 10 years. This evidence now further shows the housing needs of older people and proves the effect of no security of tenure for older people in the rental sector.

“Older people in private rented accommodation have lower standards of living and have poorer health & wellbeing outcomes. We need to plan and build for this increasing amount of people, before it is too late, for whom renting is their only housing option.

This report highlights the areas that need to be addressed, including ring fencing social housing in line with demand, specifically for older people, to meet this need now and in the near future. The alternative is that the current system will lead to large levels homelessness and poor housing conditions in old age.”

Co-author of the report Neil Haran, said: “This study reveals considerable challenges associated with the State’s reliance on the private rental sector to accommodate many of its citizens. It also reveals that older renters in private rental are placed at a disproportionate disadvantage in the market, contributing to high levels of stress, vulnerability, and a lack of predictability. “

If you wish to read more on this unsettling outlook and options to drive change read the report ‘Double Deficit: Older and Ageing Persons in the Irish Private Rental Sector’ on the Alone.ie website.


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