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31/07/2021

Ibec: New research underlines scale of pent-up housing demand

Calls for a range of Government policy responses

KILKENNY

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Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has published new research undertaken by Behaviour and Attitudes that demonstrates the unprecedented scale of housing demand in the Irish market.

One-third of the survey respondents would like to buy a home within the next two years but with about half of those (15%) expecting that they will actually be able to do so. The research has also found strong public support for a range of Government measures to address housing availability and affordability and indicates some significant post-Covid housing preference trends.

Commenting on the research and its implications for housing policy, Fergal O’Brien, Ibec Director of Lobbying and Influence said:

“Housing supply and affordability is clearly one of Ireland’s main societal challenges but it is also a significant constraint for employers and the wider economy from a talent attraction and retention perspective. A renewed national effort is required to address the housing issues which are now undermining the quality of life for so many people in Ireland. This new research underlines the scale of pent-up housing demand and also identifies the main challenges to home purchase which include a lack of availability in the right areas, affordability and bank lending constraints. There is strong support for additional Government measures to improve the supply of affordable housing with 56% of respondents in favour of the Government’s shared equity scheme.”

Key findings from the research include:

•        15% plan to buy a home in the next two years but 33% would like to do be able to do so

•        Nearly one-third of renters see mortgage approval as a barrier to purchase

•        82% believe Government should introduce additional measures to improve the supply of affordable housing

•        56% are in favour of the shared equity scheme, with 33% expressing some interest in availing of such a scheme. When the ‘don’t knows’ were excluded three out of four respondents were supportive of the shared equity scheme

•        Covid 19 has resulted in an increased importance of having a garden/outdoor space (65%)

•        Two-thirds agreed that since the Covid pandemic, having extra space to use as a home office has become more important

•        Over 50% of younger age cohorts would consider moving to rural areas for housing and quality of life factors.

“The current housing challenges will require a sustained policy focus on delivering increased supply of high quality and affordable stock. In order to ensure sufficient allocation of capital and industry resources to the delivery of new housing stock, the timing of other priorities such as the retrofitting of existing stock may need to be adjusted. Social dialogue can provide a mechanism through which these potentially competing priorities can be best approached," Mr O' Brien says.

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