Mortgage repayments cheaper than rent in all but two areas

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It’s funny how we used to beat ourselves up about wanting to own a home, characterising it as some kind of Irish obsession. Most fanciful of all was that it stemmed from some colonial hangover about land, and that if only we could be more like our continental neighbours and rent, then all would be well.

These arguments – as quaint and idiotic as they now seem – were made in the lead-up to the 2008 crash. In the context of the soaring prices and rents we now see, it’s financially sane to want to buy. Repaying a mortgage on a typical three-bedroom home is now less expensive than paying rent in nearly every region in the country. Only in the two most expensive areas to buy – Dublin 4 and Dublin 6 – is repaying a mortgage costlier than renting.

According to the 2016 population census, 85 per cent of 65-year-olds owned their own homes, while just 14 per cent rented. Contrast that with the fact that an estimated 12 per cent of 25-39-year-olds – those of a prime working age – now own their own homes and you’ll better understand the term Generation Rent.

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