Home ownership among adults of prime working age has “collapsed” since the financial crisis, according to a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office.
Using an international housing affordability survey, the Parliamentary Budget Office concludes the cost of housing here is “severely unaffordable”.
The report says this is partly due to “rising rents” and “surging house prices”.
The PBO provides economic and budgetary information for TDs and Senators.
Today’s report finds that since the financial crisis a decade ago, increases in wages have not kept pace with increases in house prices.
From 2012-2020, it finds that average wages grew by 23% while house prices grew by 77%. For some, this is making house ownership “unachievable”, the report states.
It says high prices relative to incomes are “pushing potential buyers out of the market and into rental accommodation, social housing or emigration.”.
It notes that prices rose during the Celtic Tiger era at an average rate of 12.6% a year.
Prices rose by an average 7% a year from 2015-20.
But in the 12 months to October 2021, prices rose by 13.5%. The PBO notes that prices had risen faster in Dublin, but in the past year, prices have risen faster in the rest of the country.
It notes a “rebound” in mortgage activity last year with drawdowns of €7.2 billion in the ten months to October compared to €5.2 billion in 2020 and €6.8 billion in 2019.
It speculates that the high level of savings built up by some over the pandemic “may mean buyers can bid more on homes, without breaking the Central Bank’s macro prudential policy, thus pushing up prices”.
The new level of saving “has provided many with the deposit needed for a mortgage,” the report also states.
It says that housing affordability has worsened for renters, noting that rents are now 40% higher than their pre-crisis levels in Dublin, where rents have doubled in the past decade, and 20% higher in the rest of the country.
The PBO cites the figure published by Banking Payments Federation Ireland last year that home ownership among those under 30 has collapsed from 60% in 2004 to 27% in 2020.
It also cites the finding that there were just 820 homes available to rent in Dublin on the Daft.ie website on November 1 last, the lowest ever for the city.
Using the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey (DIHAS), which measures house prices against median incomes, it concludes that Irish house prices are “severely unaffordable” and have been for several years.
“The high cost of housing can lead to deprivation, exclusion, and poverty at the household level and to lower levels of consumption and economic growth at the national level,” the report states.