Wednesday 18 September 2019

Two-thirds of renters 'struggle to meet their monthly bills'

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Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Two-thirds of people renting their home struggle to meet their monthly payments and are increasingly locked out of home ownership, a startling new survey shows.

The Housing Agency also found that people are paying up to 40pc of their monthly salary on their housing needs, compared with 20pc or 25pc a number of years ago, as the shortage of homes fuels record rental prices.

Many of this cohort would ordinarily be seeking to buy a home but cannot save the necessary deposit, it said.

The findings of the survey of 1,400 people will be revealed at the agency's annual conference today, and also show that one-in-three mortgage holders has problems meeting their repayments.

"There are people who in the normal course of events rent, but a few years ago were spending 20pc or 25pc of their income on rent but now find they're spending 40pc of their income, particularly in Dublin," said Housing Agency chief executive John O'Connor.

"They are people who would probably have always rented but some would be aspiring to home ownership, but it's more difficult for them because they cannot save a deposit.

"That's the single biggest issue, because so much of your income is being used to pay rent, there's no surplus there to save."

Separately, a report from the ESRI said more construction workers will be needed to increase housing supply - but rental costs will hamper efforts to attract them here, particularly around Dublin.

Irish Independent

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