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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Clare McCarthy

Housing expert says Ireland is 'broken' in grim assessment of situation

A housing expert as claimed that Ireland is "broken" in a grim assessment of the current housing crisis.

Dr Rory Hearne, an Assistant Professor in Social Policy at Maynooth University, took to social media to claim that renters are "living in fear" and a whole generation can't afford to buy "a home of their own".

This comes after the Central Bank announced on Wednesday that it had changed its mortgage lending rules - which will cause house prices to rise even more.

Read More: Central Bank governor backs mortgage rule change which will push up house prices

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Gabriel Makhlouf confirmed yesterday that the changes will have a “modest” increase on house prices but said the benefits of relaxing the rules will “outweigh its costs”.

Dr Hearne, author of 'Gaffs: Why no one can get a house, and what we can do about it', appeared on Ireland Am this morning to discuss the current housing situation in light of the Central Bank's announcement.

He said: "Developers have been lobbying very heavily for an increase in mortgage rules so that people can pay so that people can pay a higher price for what they're building.

"This is basic economics. We don't have any major increase in supply of housing so now there's more money chasing that same supply - what's it going to do? It's going to increase prices further."

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Gabriel Makhlouf (Gareth Chaney/Collins)

Dr Hearne took to Twitter later to write: I'll say it... The country is broken.

"It's broken; we have the highest level of homelessness since the foundation of the state, renters living in fear, generation who can't get the most basic need of a home of their own, youth emigrating as they see no future."

Many people took to the comments to weigh in their own thoughts, with one person writing: "I'm hearing new heartbreaking stories nearly every other day. So many people are being failed and deprived of their basic need for safety."

However, some defended youth emigration, calling it ambition.

One woman said: "I would be very disappointed if my well educated, intelligent young relatives had no ambition to live and work abroad & find out what's good and bad about Ireland."

However, another person replied: "There's a difference between emigrating for new experiences/jobs/education and being pushed out because you can't afford a home."

Yesterday's changes from the Central Bank mean that first-time buyers can borrow up to four their income for a mortgage from January - up from three and a half times their income.

This will make it easier for people to get bigger mortgages on smaller incomes. A person or couple on €50,000 a year will now be able to get a mortgage worth €200,000, up from €175,000 under the current rules.

For second-time buyers, the rules have also changed. From January, a 20% deposit for a second home purchase will not be required and will be eased to 10% deposit - the same as for first time buyers.

However, some lending analysts and experts have warned that the changes could lump people with greater levels of debt.


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