One-third of householders enjoy a mortgage-free life

Grainne Cunningham

IRISH people may be endlessly told they're up to their eyes in debt but a new survey claims that more than a third of us own our homes outright.

Research by property consultants CB Richard Ellis shows 34pc of houses are owned outright and just 40pc of households in the State are paying off a mortgage or loan.

A further 9pc of households are either renting or in the process of purchasing their home from a local authority, while 10pc are renting private accommodation.

The good news depends on which county you are in. For instance, just short of half the households in Leitrim (47pc), Roscommon (46pc) and Mayo (45pc) own their homes outright, with Kerry (44pc) and Donegal (44pc) not far behind.

In Co Dublin, Fingal has the highest proportion of population with a loan or a mortgage, at over 55pc, compared with Dublin City where the percentage of mortgage holders is less than 30pc. In Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, 40pc are mortgage holders and in South Dublin, the figure is 48pc.

Based on a county by county comparison, Meath has the highest percentage of households with a mortgage in the country with over 53pc of households having a mortgage.