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Image Majority of renters believe they’ll never be able to afford a home 
Image Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

The housing crisis means home ownership feels further away than ever for most renters.

A sobering new report today from reveals the despair many renters feel at ever being able to afford a home of their own. 

The news comes on the back of the latest RTB Rent Index which showed that average rents increased by 8.3% in Q1 of this year to stand at a record €1,169 per month.

The survey, based on 2,000 respondents, shows that:

  • 71% of renters believe they’ll never be able to afford a home
  • A further 16% believe it’ll only be possible in the long term (5 to 10 years)
  • 88% of renters worry to some degree about being able to afford their monthly rent payments 

Commenting on the findings Mark Corcoran of said:

“While attitudes and perceptions towards long-term rental in Ireland are changing, for many Irish people the absolute ambition at a certain stage in life is still to buy a house and own your own property. What this survey reveals is that for a large percentage of people, that ambition feels very much out of reach. 71% of respondents to our survey, in reflecting the views of the wider public, believe that they won’t ever be able to afford to purchase a home. That is becoming the new reality for a whole generation of Irish people.”

What can renters do?

At HQ we’re well aware of the struggles renters face as they grapple with high rents while also trying to save for a house deposit as many of us here are in the same situation.

So is there anything renters can do?  

  1. Get acquainted with the help-to-buy scheme. This scheme gives a tax rebate to first-time buyers of up to €20,000 to help towards the deposit for a new build property. See here for more info on the scheme and how to apply. 
  2. Get an exemption. The Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules require you to save a deposit of 10% of your house price, which is easier said than done with rent prices as high as they are. However in any one calendar year, 5% of mortgages to first-time buyers can have a deposit below 10%, provided you meet other lending criteria of course. So chat to your bank about the possibility of getting a mortgage deposit exemption.   
  3. Save. Every journey starts with the first step as they say. And whilst the task of saving for a deposit might seem insurmountable at times, even putting away just €50 a week would add up to €2,600 at the end of one year, and that’s before you earn any interest. Plus regular saving is a really important part of the mortgage application process as it helps show your bank that you’re able to afford a monthly mortgage repayment. Head to our savings comparison page to check out all the savings options available right now.
  4. Mortgage cashback. Most banks at the moment offer generous mortgage cashback deals to first-time buyers. And while the rates on these deals tend to be higher, meaning you pay back more over the longer term, there’s a lot to be said for getting a cash lump sum within a few weeks of drawing down your mortgage. And anecdotally we know that a lot of people use these deals to pay back the ‘bank of mum and dad’ after they’ve moved into their new home. So if you’re lucky enough to have a parent, relative or sibling who can lend you some money towards a house deposit for a short amount of time, a cashback offer can be an easy way to pay them back. However regardless of whether you get lent money towards your house deposit, or use the help-to-buy scheme, a bank will still want to see some record of your own savings towards a deposit before granting you a mortgage.        
  5. Get more money savvy. Here's a list of seven things that will save you money in the long run and here's a list of seven moreAnd here's a list of things Irish people, and most likely you, are wasting their money on. So get up to speed on how to spend your money more wisely and watch the pennies accumulate. 

What do you think?

Are you a renter who's struggling to save a deposit for your new home? Do you think you'll ever be able to afford your own place? And do you have any tips on saving towards a deposit?

Get in touch and let us know!

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