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Numerous reasons to believe you cannot afford to own a house in Ireland..!

DUBLIN: Economists say that no matter how hard you try, even with a mortgage, buying a house in Ireland is out of reach for the average individual. Savings are shrinking as the cost of living, particularly rent, rises, forcing individuals to take out huge mortgages.

Rob Twamley and Ruth Gahan are a couple who have been trying to buy a house in Dublin for two years and have been unsuccessful. They have been living on rent for many years and thought they could end it, so they decided to buy a house. But both realised the prices have gone out of reach.

“We were looking at a place in Balbriggan, the price was €269,000. We bid on it…got into a bidding war…it went up and up and up. Eventually we were outbid and it sold for €370,000 – that’s €100,000 more than the asking price….and it needed a lot of work,” says Rob.

Rob Twamley and Ruth Gahan

The couple said they have lowered their expectations a lot and are worried about rental costs. “Rent is going up and up and up. Only recently there, we had an increase so it’s getting harder every month to do the level of saving we were doing,” says Ruth.

“The plan was, buy a house, get married, have kids – and that’s still the plan, but the buying the house part is putting a hold on everything,” says Rob.

The couple work in Dublin City and are now thinking of buying a house in Meath or Drogheda and commuting to work.

Some financial figures

Daftmortgages.ie points out that the latest trends in the housing market include first-time buyers taking on more debt due to lower savings and continued rent rises.

The average mortgage for first-time buyers rose by 13% in the second quarter of this year, according to the latest figures from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland. The figures also reveal that it now stands at €2,63,312, the highest level since 2003.

Figures from the Residential Tenancies Board also show that rents have risen sharply. According to the board, rents for new tenancies rose by over 9% across the country.

The average rent in the country is €1,460. Rents for new tenancies in Dublin were €2,015 per month, while outside of Dublin the average rent was €1,127 per month.

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