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What is an 'affordable home'? Most people put the price at between €200,000 and €299,000

In an Ireland Thinks/The Good Information Poll, the Irish public mostly disagreed with the government scheme’s assessment of ‘affordable’.

THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING Scheme is one of the Government’s flagship initiatives to solve the housing crisis for first-time buyers but its announcement in May this year was marred by the cap of €450,000 put in place for Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire. 

The scheme involves state support to households seeking to purchase a home who are unable to secure the full mortgage to do so.

The price caps are based on local authority area, and there are seven bands. An affordable home in south Dublin, Fingal, Cork and Galway cities, as well as Wicklow will be capped at €400,000. There will be €350,000 cap in Cork County, Limerick, Kildare and Meath, a €300,000 in Clare, Westmeath and Wexford, and a €275,000 in Carlow, Louth and Offaly.

In Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Waterford and Roscommon there will be a €250,000 cap, and a €225,000 in Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Sligo and Tipperary.

Opposition parties were immediately critical of the figures. 

“This will increase house prices rather than represent a step change in our approach to housing, making it genuinely affordable for ordinary people,” said Labour’s Rebecca Moynihan. 

“The Government is living on another planet if it thinks €450,000 for a home in Dublin – and €400,000 in Cork and Galway – is affordable. It simply is not,” added the Social Democrats’ Cian O’Callaghan.  

In an Ireland Thinks/The Good Information Project poll, the Irish public also mostly disagreed with the scheme’s assessment of ‘affordable’. 

Overall, 50% of the public suggested that a price between €200,000 and €299,000 was ‘affordable’.

Respondents were allowed to specify any price, which Ireland Thinks then grouped into bands.

The median price was €200,000 and average price was €273,263.

About 13% of people think between €300,000 and €400,000 should count as affordable, with a more significant 29% landing on the other side of the averages, saying between €100,000 and €199,000 is affordable. 

These estimates varied according to what part of the country the respondent lived in, with people living in Dublin, those earning over €60k per annum, and those owning their own home outright registering a higher median estimate of what is affordable at €250,000.

About 3% of respondents believed a property priced at over €600,000 was affordable, with a further 2% opting for ranges between €450,000 and €549,000.

On the other end, 4% believed an ‘affordable home’ should cost less than €75,000.

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This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work is the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here.

About the author:

Kevin Cunningham  / Ireland Thinks

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