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Saturday 24 August 2019

Home-ownership rates here 'will fall to German levels'

Ownership levels ‘will fall’
Ownership levels ‘will fall’

Home-ownership rates in Ireland will continue to decline until they reach a level like that of Germany, a report claims.

The report from Davy Stockbrokers says that strict mortgage rules, demographic shifts and a lack of housing will all contribute to the continuing fall.

It notes 80pc of homes in Ireland were owner-occupied in 1990.

The rate is now estimated at 70pc.

That is still higher than in countries such as the UK, France, Germany and Sweden.

Decline

The report concludes that the home-ownership rate will steadily decline to a figure comparable with Germany, where it is 51pc.

Close to 60pc of the housing stock in Germany is composed of apartments, compared to just over 10pc in Ireland.

"Home-ownership rates in Ireland are likely to decline, reflecting the lack of housing supply, stretched affordability and the constraints of the Central Bank's mortgage lending rules as well as the cultural changes and demographic shifts," the report says.

It also says that so-called cuckoo funds are not displacing owner-occupiers from the property market.

The practice - in which entire apartment schemes are bought by a single corporate investor rather than being sold to individual buyers - has been the target of criticism in recent months.

The investors typically include entities such as giant pension fund firms.

But last week AIB also insisted the funds are essential for the development of large-scale apartment blocks, which would not otherwise be financially viable.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy's department also last month defended the "positive effects" cuckoo funds have on the housing market.

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