Cian O'Callaghan TD

Data published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) provides further insights into the widening affordability gap faced by those seeking to buy a home of their own, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s spokesperson on housing, said:

“An analysis of the data, which was published by the CSO to mark the 50th anniversary of Ireland joining the EEC, shines new light on the scale of the challenges faced by house-hunters today. It shows that house prices have been rising at a much faster rate than wages over the past half century.

“When Ireland joined Europe in 1973, it cost four and a half times the average salary to buy a home. Fifty years on, you will need seven times the average salary.

“According to the CSO, house prices are now 35 times more expensive than in 1973, whereas the average wage is 21 times higher.

“How are teachers, nurses and other workers supposed to get a place of their own? Being locked out of home ownership is having a disastrous impact on our schools and hospitals as emigration again becomes the only option for people looking to start an independent life.

“The Government’s record on building affordable homes has been abysmal. Of the 5,500 promised for 2023, just 101 affordable purchase homes and 22 cost rental homes were delivered in the first six months of this year.

“The Government should be laser focused on building genuinely affordable homes that people on normal incomes can afford to buy. Instead, what we saw in Budget 2024 was tax breaks for landlords and the delaying of the land hoarding tax.

“In the Social Democrats’ alternative budget, we outlined how we would build 10,000 affordable homes – including 5,000 cost rental and 5,000 affordable purchase homes – in 2024. This is the level of ambition required to make housing genuinely affordable for workers on average salaries.”

October 18, 2023

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