Wednesday 26 October 2016

Will I ever own my own home? Millennials ask the big question as survey reveals harsh reality

Published 22/09/2016 | 14:23

Stock photo: keys
Stock photo: keys

Huge numbers of younger people now doubt they will ever get to own their own homes.

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Rising property prices and deposit requirements are making buying a home more difficult.

A new survey from insurance broker AA Life Insurance found that 15pc of people between the ages of 25 and 35 now question if they will ever be homeowners.

This is the so-called millennial generation – a person who reaches early adulthood around the year 2000.

If they are in a job they are often on short-term contracts, paid less than older colleagues and paying rents that are now at levels above where they were during the boom.

The survey of 11,000 AA members shows that first-time buyers are getting older.

Half of those under the age of 35 are yet to buy their first home.

In contrast, some 83pc of their parents’ generation had owned a home before they were 36.

The survey also records a huge fall in the number of people purchasing their first home in their mid 20s.

Just 7pc of those under the age of 24 have bought their first home, three times less than their parents’ generation.

AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan stated: “Home ownership may feel as if it is a long way away for younger Irish people.

“Property prices and deposit requirements make it a much more difficult proposition for the millennial generation than it was for those who came before them. It seems as if the deck is stacked against them.”

The survey, showing people getting older before they enter the property market, comes after a revamped data series from the Central Statistics Office found new buyers were being squeezed out of the market.

Half of the market was made up of first-time buyers of homes and apartments just six years ago.

But by last year the proportion of new buyers were down to a quarter of all buyers.

The latest revelations are likely to increase pressure on the government to keep its promise to introduce a help-to-buy scheme for new buyers in the Budget.

In the first seven months of this year first-time purchasers accounted for 25pc of buyers, according to a revamped index of property prices from the Central Statistics Office.  In 2010 it was 53pc.

Despite expecting to wait longer to enter the property market, home ownership remains a long-term goal for many of those under 35, according to the AA.

Over 87pc of people between 17 and 35 agree with the idea that owning a home is a personal milestone.

Just over 2pc of people in this age bracket stated that they do not want to own a home in their lifetime.

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