Ireland is ‘becoming a nation of renters’ as 20-somethings priced out of market

Research by protection experts at Royal London into the company’s Irish Mortgage Protection cover customer database from 2004 to 2014 has shown that there has been a steady decrease in the numbers of people in their 20s taking out policies.

Mortgage protection cover is usually a prerequisite for anyone buying a home and financing the purchase with a mortgage, so this data suggests that fewer 20-somethings have been purchasing homes in the last 10 years.

According to Joe Charles, marketing manager at Royal London Ireland: “Home-buying and mortgages often dominate the public debate. It’s an ever-changing landscape and it’s always interesting to see what changes are happening in Ireland’s mortgage market. It’s even more interesting to look at the changes that have happened over the last 10 years, with all the challenges this market has faced over the last decade.

“There have been fundamental changes. Not only is there less activity, but those who are taking out these policies are older. Looking at the mortgage protection policies that have been taken out with Royal London over the last 10 years (2004 – 2014 ), it would appear first-time buyers are now mostly in their 30s rather than their 20s and people are trading up in their 40s and 50s rather than their 30s and 40s.

“As mortgage protection cover is nearly always a requirement all lending institutions in Ireland insist on as a condition of mortgage approval, this study gives a good indication of how the profile of mortgage applicants has changed over the years.”

Royal London say that the drop in the numbers of people in their 20s taking out mortgage protection is not surprising. Joe explained: “We are becoming a nation of renters, according to recent media commentary, particularly those in their 20s. For some, it’s a choice or a lack of supply. For others, it’s the tightening of mortgage lending criteria which has meant that fewer people in their 20s are applying for and securing a mortgage.

“In addition, it’s probably also a change in approach to life. Twenty or 30 years ago many people were getting married, buying a house, having children in their 20s, many more people are now waiting longer to settle down. It will be interesting to see if the 20s group fall even further in the next year or two due to supply shortages and stricter lending.”

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