Pay elderly to sell 'empty nest' homes, Cabinet told
■ ESRI says 26,000 homes could be freed up ■ Central Bank under fire over income limits
Giving cash to thousands of older people to move out of larger homes could free up properties for families, a leading think tank has suggested.
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) estimates that around 26,000 families are empty nesters - they are living in large homes after their children have left.
First-time buyers are struggling to get on the property ladder because of a lack of supply, as well as the massive increase in the deposit required for a mortgage.
The Central Bank has been urged to relax mortgage deposit restrictions.
The ESRI said there was little evidence that elderly people regularly move home in this country. But the report also warned about the social impact of getting older people to move out of their homes.
A separate study revealed that just 8,000 new homes began construction last year.