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Wednesday 21 August 2019

Flatshare in 40s as prices hit new high

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Mark O'Regan

Flatsharing in their 40s is a growing trend among the record number of Irish people now priced out of the property market.

Many divorcees and other victims of marriage breakdown in their middle years are particularly hard hit - finding it impossible to get back on the housing ladder.

It follows last week's ESRI report which warned that house prices would surge by another 20pc in three years, bringing many sectors of the market to Celtic Tiger levels.

A growing number of people in middle age are now forced to make do with less than satisfactory accommodation. Mainly affected are those whose income continues to fall behind rocketing rents, complicated by escalating house and apartment prices.

Experts say victims of a 'perfect storm', brought about by spiralling rents and the collapse of a marriage, can be especially hard hit.

Previously, many separated people could have rented a one-bedroom apartment, but the cost is now so expensive that that is out of the question. This leaves a growing number of mid-lifers forced to live with strangers rather than set up home on their own.

Having left the family home, they find it impossible to buy alternative accommodation, owing to reduced financial circumstances.

Fintan McNamara, director of the Residential Landlords' Association of Ireland (RLAI), said flatsharing in middle age was becoming increasingly common, particularly in Dublin.

He said the majority of those affected had suffered a marriage breakdown. "It's a very difficult situation to be in at a later stage in life," he added.

Sunday Independent

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