Sunday 22 October 2017

Families delay having babies due to lack of space

New research shows one-in-four families have outgrown their homes. Thinkstock Images
New research shows one-in-four families have outgrown their homes. Thinkstock Images
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

FAMILIES are delaying having more children because their homes are too small and they are unable to move to a larger property.

New research shows that more than one in four families say they have outgrown their home and are now putting off having more children due to a lack of space.

The research, published by Aviva Home Insurance, found that 36pc of families feel they have outgrown their current home.

Most of those who say their living space is too small also report holding off having more children.

And only a small number who said their home was too small can afford to buy a bigger one.

A chronic lack of housing supply in locations where people want to live means these families are likely to remain trapped in constrained living spaces, Aviva said.

Think tank, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), forecast recently that house prices will continue to rise over the next three years.

People who have children said they worry they will never be able to trade up.

Among the big issues that annoy families squashed into a home that is too small are:

• Clutter and untidiness.

• Noisy living conditions that make it difficult to work or study in the home.

• No space for visitors to stay, and,

• Children dominating the living space.

These issues lead to bickering and elevated stress levels, the survey of 712 participants, found.

Only one in four of the families who have outgrown their homes said they could afford to refurbish or extend.

Some 22pc said they were constantly worried they would never be able to trade up.

Marketing manager at Aviva Cathy Summers said: "Living in a constrained space can be stressful for anyone but particularly for a family, with our research showing that a significant number of couples are postponing having more children because they simply don't have the living space."

However, she said the research, which was conducted in January and September of this year, also shows a noticeable uplift in the number of families who say they can afford to move up the housing ladder.

This was up from 10pc in January to 16pc now.

"This is good news for these families but with house prices continuing to rise, a substantial number of families will remain in cramped conditions," Ms Summers said.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office last week showed that prices nationally shot up by 14.9pc in the year to August, largely due to the low number of houses being put up for sale in urban areas.

This is compared with a rise of 13.4pc in July.

The monthly rise was 2.3pc in August. It was the 15th month in a row of price increases.

Prices in Dublin were up 3.5pc in August, and are now up 25pc in a year.

Outside the capital, prices were up by 0.8pc in August, and have now risen by 5.6pc in the past year.

Economists with Goodbody Stockbrokers Dermot O'Leary and Juliet Tennent said the price rises would continue, as there was a lack of supply of family-type homes.

Irish Independent

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