The complexity in buying a house in Dublin

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The housing crisis in Dublin has been a longstanding issue for the city, becoming extremely alarming in recent years. The real estate market is highly competitive, and the availability of affordable housing is dwindling, making it increasingly challenging to find both rental accommodations and homes for purchase.

In particular, people who want to buy a house run into 3 main obstacles:

  1. Saving for the deposit: In Ireland, one of the primary obstacles in purchasing a home is the required deposit amount. Typically, banks and financial institutions require a substantial initial down payment to grant a mortgage, which can represent a significant percentage of the property’s price. While such deposit may vary, it often ranges between 10% and 20% of the home’s value. High deposit amounts can be prohibitive for many individuals, particularly those already burdened with other debts or possessing limited income and financial resources. Furthermore, the Irish real estate market has experienced a significant increase in prices in recent years, exacerbated by factors such as strong housing demand, making it even more challenging for prospective buyers to save enough for a deposit.
  2. Obtaining a mortgage: Another reason that hinders people from buying a house is access to a mortgage. In fact, credit institutions conduct a rigorous credit assessment before granting a loan. They carefully examine the financial profile and credit history of applicants to determine their reliability in repaying the mortgage. Requirements for obtaining a mortgage can be strict, especially for those with a less favorable credit history or low and less stable income. Meeting the requirements of credit institution is even harder nowadays that interest rates are increasing, making repaying a loan even harder.
  3. Housing shortage: The availability of houses and apartments in Ireland has decreased over recent times. The supply of houses falls short of demand, partly because of the increasing population. The Irish market, and Dublin in particular, is attracting numerous talents from abroad thanks to its active job market. Dublin lacks new houses and apartment also because of insufficient new constructions, and until recently, most new buildings were rental apartments. Second-hand houses for sale at prices within reach are scarce, and many would require significant additional investment for renovation.

Public opinion has often accused the authorities of making insufficient investment in public housing. Many people remain on the waiting list for public housing for too long. As a result, instead of buying homes, many are forced to rent, which has pushed the rental prices, especially in Dublin, to very high peaks.

As one of the consequences of the housing crisis, the number of homeless people in Ireland has rapidly increased recently. The current situation has triggered numerous protests: thousands of people are taking to the streets in Dublin to demand a change, condemn rent prices and in some instances, tenants’ groups and housing rights activists have also sprung up, organizing occupations of vacant buildings and picketing.