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Housing Crisis Grips Ireland a Decade After Property Bubble Burst

Deutsche Bank
Dublin City Council
Maynooth University
Ires Reit
University College Dublin
the International Monetary Fund
the European Union
the Central Bank of Ireland
Goodbody Stockbrokers
the Dublin Institute of Technology

Carly Bailey
Rory Hearne
Orla Hegarty
Sabrina Farrell
Ires Reit
Kennedy Wilson
John-Mark McCafferty
Leo Varadkar
Lorcan Sirr
Lorna O’Sullivan


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County Dublin
the United States
Focus Ireland
Rebuilding Ireland

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The New York Times
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“A lot of young people are now realizing they will never own their own home, and that is a particularly terrible outlook when you live in a country where a house is usually your main asset for retirement.”The chief executive of Ires Reit, Ireland’s largest private landlord, said in late 2016, “We’ve never seen rental increases like this in any jurisdiction” and “I truly feel badly for the Irish people.” Over the next two years, rents nationwide rose about 14 percent, the government reported.The Irish division of Savills, an international property company, predicts that rents will increase an additional 17 percent over the next three years.“The social and political risks are very high,” said Orla Hegarty, a professor of architecture at University College Dublin. To curb dangerous lending and borrowing, the Central Bank of Ireland in 2015 capped mortgage loans at about 3.5 times the buyer’s annual income, but the median price is about 5.6 times earnings.“We are seeing a growing number of people in the private rental market who don’t want to be in it because they would rather buy but can’t afford to,” says John-Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of Threshold, a tenants’ rights group.Despite such high demand for housing, new construction continues to lag, depressed by tight mortgage lending, high building costs and land-hoarding by speculators.While the government estimates that 30,000 to 35,000 new housing units are needed annually, in June the investment firm Goodbody Stockbrokers predicted that only 21,000 would be completed this year.To bridge the gap, there is an increasing clamor for the center-right government of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to build publicly owned housing.

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