Irish young people being squeezed out of home ownership, research finds

Irish Young People Being Squeezed Out Of Home Ownership, Research Finds
Barely a third of adults younger than 40 in Ireland are homeowners, the study finds. Photo: PA
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Ireland has one of the biggest gaps in home ownership between younger and older people in western Europe, a new report has found.

However, the same study by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found housing here appears to remain relatively affordable overall compared with elsewhere.


Close to 80 per cent of people over the age of 40 in Ireland own their home, according to the report, yet barely a third of adults younger than 40 are homeowners.

That gap between young and old is the second-highest out of 15 European countries included in the research. Only Greece has a wider divide.

The research underlines the issues facing younger people in today’s housing market, even if affordability here remains comparable to the rest of western Europe.

The ESRI compared the ratio between a household's income and the amount paid on housing in the 15 countries.


It found that on average Irish households pay one fifth of their net income on rent or mortgage, ranking sixth.

The think tank said extensive rental supports here have sheltered lower income households from more significant affordability pressures.

Rents in the Republic have surged in recent years. The standardised average rent for new tenants increased by about one-fifth between the end of 2019 and end of 2022, according to the Residential Tenancies Board.

Commenting on the report, author Rachel Slaymaker of the ESRI said: "While elsewhere in Europe rising affordability pressures have been primarily concentrated amongst the lowest income rental households, in Ireland extensive rental supports have mitigated the effects for these households.

"However, in the market price rental sector, affordability pressures remain elevated and middle-to-higher income renters in Ireland face greater affordability pressures than similar households in Europe."

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