Having a baby now comes before owning a home for a new generation that has little choice but to rent until their mid-thirties. Increased barriers to acquiring a home have raised the average age of Ireland’s first-time buyer by four years to 33. In 2005, the average first-time buyer in Ireland was about 29, but according to Real Estate Alliance (REA), this figure is up and still rising.
The newly emerging trend is more and more Irish couples are now starting their families in rental accommodation- a social shift which goes against the longstanding Irish tradition of buying your home first.
A combination of circumstances have combined to make it extremely difficult for young people to buy:
- New Central Bank rules pushing up the deposit that must be saved for a house;
- Returning emigrants finding it difficult to secure mortgage approval without a full year’s employment behind them;
- The increase in contract work, as opposed to a “job for life”, making it difficult to get a mortgage;
- A change in attitudes following the property crash and unwillingness to buy the “wrong” home.