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“Is Buying a House in Ireland Becoming Increasingly Difficult?”

DUBLIN: Buying a home in Ireland has become increasingly challenging for the average person, according to a new report by Royal London Ireland, a life insurance and pension firm.

The research highlights a significant increase in house prices: new house prices in Ireland have surged by 119% since 2013, while existing house prices have climbed by 137% since 2012. In 2023, the average price of a new house is €327,500.

Housing Struggles Across All Age Groups

The report reveals that the difficulty of buying a house affects people of all ages. It found that 65% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 66% of over-55s agree that purchasing a home is more difficult than ever. Among those aged 25 to 34, 72% share this sentiment.

The research shows that 67% of people in Ireland have expressed concerns about buying a home, while 27% believe the challenge has always existed.

Women Face Greater Difficulties

The report indicates that women find it more difficult to buy a home than men. While 60% of men struggle with home buying, 75% of women face this issue. Additionally, 33% of men and 21% of women report long-term difficulties related to the Irish property market. Barry McCutcheon from Royal London Ireland, emphasised the severe challenges of homeownership in Ireland.

Housing Crisis and Future Needs

According to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), between 35,000 and 53,000 new homes must be built annually to address Ireland’s housing crisis. The Housing Commission’s May report identified a shortage of 256,000 homes in the country.

The ESRI research, funded by the Department of Housing and Local Government, projects that the population will increase to 5.16 million by 2030. Consequently, Ireland will need 38,000 to 50,000 new homes annually between 2023 and 2030. If immigration rates rise, this figure could increase to between 41,000 and 53,000. The report predicts the population will grow by an average of 1.2% per year, reaching 6.3 million by 2040.

Researchers examined 12 scenarios of population growth and housing demand. The report highlights that immigration will be a crucial factor in population growth. The government’s target of building 33,000 houses per year from 2022 to 2030 is also evaluated.

The report indicates that while population growth is occurring nationwide, it is most pronounced in Dublin and the Mid East. From 2023 to 2030, 46% of new households will be in the Dublin region and Cork City and County.

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