First Time Buyers at a more advanced age when choosing to purchase first home

With the average cost of purchasing a house within Athlone and its environs now €197,154 and rent within the region at €750 per month, a survey conducted by Royal London has noted that first time buyers are now in their mid thirties before they make that initial abode purchase.

Royal London commissioned an iReach survey of 1,000 people throughout the country to ascertain the views of the general public on what’s the right age to move out of home and to take your first step on the property ladder.

Commenting on the findings, Michele Murphy of Royal London Westmeath said, “as the age of first-time buyers in Ireland continues to rise, it would appear that moving out and buying your first property at the most ‘desirable’ age (between 25-29 ) is beyond reach for most people. As society evolves, family situations and living arrangements change. What would have been once considered the traditional sequence of events, get married, buy a house and then have children, in that order, is becoming less common.

“A period of renting at some point is usually the case for many individuals nowadays. With current house prices in Athlone and the surrounding areas reaching an average of €197,154 and enhanced Central Bank lending restrictions, on average, people now have to wait well into their thirties before they can afford their first home.”

Moving Out

The average age at which young Irish people now leave the family home is just after they turn 26 years of age.

Of this particular scenario, the Royal London representative remarked, “on average monthly rents in Westmeath are currently coming in at approximately €745. The vast majority of people believe that you should be in your early twenties when moving out of your family home. This is a little surprising given that most young people would start college straight after their Leaving Cert, at around 17 or 18 years of age, which could potentially necessitate a move to college digs. Would this view suggest that people are more inclined to think young people should stay at home during college? Perhaps it is due to accommodation availability and affordability. It is substantially more expensive to move out of home to attend college, and many students may select a college course that is within a commuting distance from their family home. Or maybe it’s just down to needing some extra family support with the transition from school to the new pressures of college life.”

In 2016, the Higher Education Authority reported that 44 percent of full-time undergraduates in Ireland were living in their family home or with relatives and commuting to college.

The Royal London survey further revealed some disparity between the views of older and younger generations when it comes to moving out with 53 percent of those aged 18-34 believing that you should move out of the family home between the ages of 20-24. This figure increased to 64 percent when respondents aged 55 or over were asked the same question.

First Home

Although the average age of an first time buyer in Ireland has risen by five years in a decade, to 34 years, 50 percent of people believe that in an ideal world, you would have purchased your first property before that. Of those surveyed, nine percent said the ideal age is between 20 and 24, while 41 percent said it was between age 25 and 29.


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