Tuesday 21 May 2019

Locked out: 'It's sad that I grew up in this city but now I can't afford to buy a home'

‘Politicians are out of touch’: Joel and Gordon at their rented home in Islandbridge, Dublin 8. Photo: Mark Condren
‘Politicians are out of touch’: Joel and Gordon at their rented home in Islandbridge, Dublin 8. Photo: Mark Condren
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Gordon Hickey and his husband Joel Vivas got married two years ago and are finally in a position to get a mortgage - but the couple are frustrated they're still priced out of the market.

Businessman Mr Hickey (37) and IT worker Joel (30) have lived for the past two years of married life with a flatmate in Islandbridge, Dublin.

Former freelance TV producer Mr Hickey set up his own business, Container Coffee, on Thomas Street in Dublin two years ago.

After two years trading, he can finally apply for a mortgage with his husband.

But, unfortunately, even with life savings between them amounting to €40,000, they'll be loaned only about €249,000 - way below the average property price in Dublin.

Mr Hickey is frustrated and wants the Government to follow New Zealand's example and legislate to stop foreigners who do not intend living in Dublin from buying properties there.

He believes it is the only way to stop so-called 'cuckoo funds' continuing to snap up swathes of buy-to-let properties, pricing first-time buyers out of the market.

"We feel married life hasn't started properly, as we don't have our own home," Mr Hickey said. "We are married two years and we live with someone else, as we couldn't afford to rent on our own and we've never had our own home.

"It took me seven years to save for a deposit. And I don't think we should have to commute for hours to live somewhere affordable.

"I feel like my dreams and hopes of owning our own property in my city are being dashed, our hopes are slowly slipping away.

"Dublin is now the fifth most expensive city in Europe. Foreign companies are profiting too much here in the city, buying up properties to let to people who don't even get a chance to buy their own homes. My question to Government is why are these foreign investment firms being allowed to profit from the city so much when ordinary workers can't afford to buy their own home?

"It makes me sad that I grew up in a city where I feel I've been locked out of the housing market."

The couple live in a two-bed apartment with rent of €1,600 but they've seen apartments around them skyrocket and are worried they wouldn't be able to afford to rent anywhere else.

"Leo Varadkar and Eoghan Murphy are a similar age to me, yet they seem to be out of touch with their own generation," Mr Hickey said.

Irish Independent

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