To remedy the growing housing crisis for first-time homebuyers, the government has established the Affordable Housing Scheme. In practice, the plan engages state support for aspiring homebuyers that are not able to receive the full mortgage they would need on their own. However, in May of 2021, a limit was set at €450,000 for both Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire. These caps tarnished some hopes of the plan as these limits are significantly higher than what the public believe to be ‘affordable.’
These price caps are dependent upon their local authority place, of which there are seven groupings. An ‘affordable’ house in south Dublin, Fingal, Cork, Galway, and Wicklow will be set at €400,000. Cork County, Limerick, Kildare, and Meath will be capped at €350,000. A limit of €300,000 has been set in Clare, Westmeath, and Wexford while Carlow, Louth, and Offaly are set at €275,000. ‘Affordable’ housing is capped at €250,000 in Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Waterford, and Roscommon. Finally, Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Sligo, and Tipperary have the limit of €225,000.
These numbers were quickly criticized by the public and opposing political parties. Rebecca Moynihan from the Labour Party made a statement that these figures would aid in increasing home prices, rather than making homes truly affordable for the average person. Cian O’Callaghan from the Social Democrats Party also commented on the matter. He added that limits at and over €400,000 for the homes in the regions listed above is just not affordable.
Ireland Think/The Good Information Project initiated a poll to gauge the public’s opinion on affordability in regards to home prices. The poll determined that the majority of the public disagreed with the Affordable Housing Scheme’s ruling on ‘affordable’ pricing. The poll was conducted by allowing the respondents to choose any price they deemed ‘affordable.’ Irish Thinks then took these figures and organized them into price ranges.
A comprehensive look at the results showed that 50 percent of the public surveyed believed that the correct ‘affordable’ price limit would be somewhere between €200,000 and €299,000. From all of the responses, the median was found to be €200,000 and the average was €273,263. Further, 13 percent of those surveyed believe that a figure between €300,000 and €400,000 should be deemed affordable.
A larger percentage, at 29 percent, found themselves under the average and responded that a price between €100,000 and €199,000 would be affordable. A figure at about 3 percent thought over €600,000 should be considered affordable. Only 2 percent of those surveyed believed a figure between €450,000 and €549,000 was affordable. Finally, about 4 percent of people considered that a price less than €75,000 was affordable.
It is important to note that these responses were taken from people across the country, leading to a wider variation in responses. A more specific categorization includes those that live in Dublin, earn over €60,000 yearly, and those that own their own home outright. The responses of only these groupings account for a higher median at €250,000.
Cunningham, Kevin. “What is an ‘Affordable Home’? Most People Put the Price at Between €200,000 and €299,000.” thejournal.ie, 27 June 2021, https://www.thejournal.ie/affordable-housing-poll-5477459-Jun2021/.