For many years, Ireland was known for its plentiful, affordable housing with scenic views worthy of a dream home. At one point, Ireland was among the countries with the highest homeownership rates. Ireland is recovering from the recession, but those hit the hardest are still picking up the pieces, and it’s not the homeowners.
A Decade After the Property Bubble Burst
Long after the easy-money real estate bubble burst, Ireland has somewhat recovered and increased in housing availability.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for houses available to rent. The number of rental homes is at its lowest, causing average rent prices to be €300 – €1,300 higher than the 2008 crash.
Spikes in Rent Prices and Homeless
While home prices have rebounded since the recession, homeownership has not. Despite the increase in private rental properties, the government has little control over the costs. Tenants are at a great disadvantage and are unable to climb out of the situation.
For those who are currently renting, the rent prices are higher than the cost of the mortgage. However, renters who are financially struggling cannot afford the down payments needed to transition to homeownership. Over 10 thousand families are in emergency accommodations, and for the 6th month in a row.
Without the proper laws in effect, landlords are wielding too much power in the private rental sector. In the housing crisis, the ones most affected are the would-be renters. Without laws to protect them, tenants are left to suffer in silence with the threat of homelessness looming over their heads.
As if it weren’t enough, the Irish housing crisis has become so severe that tenants are coming forward with renting horror stories. In the UK, it has been reported that tenants are indecently propositioned by landlords, mainly women with small children. It has become the perfect storm for landlords who want to take advantage of desperate families.
Hope for Ireland
There are many plans that may be implemented to ease the housing crisis. With Dublin’s tech boom impacting the local real estate market, companies are looking to reverse the unaffordable renting prices that originally drove the working class away.
Tech companies are considering housing subsidizing for their workers as an intervention. So far, Google is attempting to create more affordable housing in San Francisco, and they may be doing the same for Ireland.