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No significant changes then or today for key workers facing housing difficulties

Thirteen years ago, a survey conducted by Halifax had found that the vast majority of key public sector workers in the country were facing housing difficulties.

The survey revealed that key workers including Nurses, fire-fighters, Gardai, and teachers were mostly suffering.

Their research compared the average wages of workers in the main public sectors to the second-hand house rates of those in the country’s major counties, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, as well as areas outside of these cities.

It is shocking that the figures between their second survey carried out in 2007 and the country’s current statistics are not substantially different.

The 2007 study found that nurses and firefighters suffered the most as compared to other key workers. The average house prices in Dublin were more than 13 times their salaries. This condition is still more the same today as well.

For a house in Dublin to be deemed affordable for a nurse, the price would have to be €171,000.

Recent figures show that the typical cost or median price of a home nationally was €255,000 and €366,000 in Dublin. Within the Dublin region, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown had the highest median price (€530,000), while Fingal had the lowest (€337,000).

The average salary for a nurse is €38,362 per year in Ireland. In the last 12 months, the average salary has increased by 1.45% compared to the previous year.

The maximum mortgage currently capped at 3.5 times gross income. That means €134267 (3.5 multiplied by their average annual salary). No exceptions above this limit are available at present due to Corona related tightening of criteria.

Limerick and Waterford are the two most affordable cities in Ireland, while Dublin is the least affordable.

Halifax had stated that affordability in all major cities has increased during the first half of 2007, with the correction in house prices. Only the country’s smaller towns and rural areas have seen housing affordability decline as the house price correction has affected them less.

Gabriel Bannigan, Head of Retail and Intermediary Banking at Halifax had commented that, although the government has promised more affordable and social housing units, the slowdown in house building in Ireland is bound to have an impact on that.

“We need to look at other ways, such as payment schemes, to ease the burden as a banking industry in conjunction with the Government,” he then said back in 2007.

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