Expert calls for protections to stimulate longer-term renting

Single first-time-buyers are spending nearly a third of their income on monthly mortgage repayments

A consumer expert has called for increased protections for renters in an effort to end the obsession with home ownership in Ireland.

New figures released this morning show that single first-time-buyers are spending nearly a third of their income on monthly mortgage repayments.

The EBS - DKM Affordability index have highlighted the spiralling cost of housing in Ireland.

Couples purchasing for the first time in Dublin are spending over 27% of their income servicing their mortgage.

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, consumer expert Sinead Ryan said long term renting needs to be a more viable option in Irish cities.

Speaking to Jonathan Healy, she noted that long-term renting is standard practice in major cities around the world.

“It is ridiculous,” she said. “Now you can blame the Irish mammy, you can blame the famine, you can blame whatever you like for this constant need for us to own land and own homes.”

“Trying to make [homes] affordable within the M50 ring is something that is really, really difficult.”

She said housing and home ownership are “two completely separate issues” adding that it is expensive to buy a home in any major capital city around the world.

“What I would prefer to see is instead of trying to shoehorn and saddle debt on people who ought not own homes, let us make the rental market so good and so secure that you can rent for 25 years - and there is no stigma attached to doing so,” she said.

The EBS figures show that Dublin, its commuter counties and Galway City are the least affordable locations to purchase property.

Longford, Offaly and Leitrim meanwhile are the most affordable areas with less than 11% of a couple's disposable income required to meet repayments.

The average cost  of a property for first time buyers is now nearly €246,000 - with the average first time buyer mortgage nearly €197,000.

You can listen back to the full conversation on The Pat Kenny Show here: