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Exploring affordability in the Irish housing market


  • Corrigan, Eoin
  • Foley, Daniel
  • McQuinn, Kieran
  • O'Toole, Conor
  • Slaymaker, Rachel


This paper examines housing affordability in Ireland by looking at the distribution of housing costs across households. Using microdata from the SILC survey over the period 2006-2016, the contribution of this paper is threefold. First, the paper considers the trends in the cost of housing in Ireland across groups of households split by age, region, household structure, and their position in the income distribution. Second, we apply selected international housing affordability definitions and explorethe share, and composition, of households in Ireland that would be captured by these definitions. We do not find evidence of universal affordability difficulties in the Irish market. However, certain groups do face acute affordability challenges. Third, working towards a definition of housing cost affordability for use in Irish policy discussions, we provide some guidance as to what such a definition could look like.
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  • Corrigan, Eoin & Foley, Daniel & McQuinn, Kieran & O'Toole, Conor & Slaymaker, Rachel, 2018. "Exploring affordability in the Irish housing market," Papers WP593, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp593

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Stone, 2006. "What is housing affordability? The case for the residual income approach," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 151-184.
    2. Kelly, Robert & McCarthy, Yvonne & McQuinn, Kieran, 2012. "Impairment and negative equity in the Irish mortgage market," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 256-268.
    3. Luc Borrowman & Gennadi Kazakevitch & Lionel Frost, 2017. "How long do households remain in housing affordability stress?," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(7), pages 869-886, October.
    4. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2010. "Household Leverage and the Recession of 2007–09," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 58(1), pages 74-117, August.
    5. McCarthy, Yvonne & McQuinn, Kieran, 2017. "Credit conditions in a boom and bust property market: Insights for macro-prudential policy," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 171-182.
    6. Newman, Sandra J. & Holupka, C. Scott, 2014. "Housing affordability and investments in children," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 89-100.
    7. Yvonne McCarthy & Kieran McQuinn, 2011. "How Are Irish Households Coping with their Mortgage Repayments? Information from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 42(1), pages 71-94.
    8. McQuinn, Kieran & O'Toole, Conor & Economides, Philip & Monteiro, Teresa, 2017. "Quarterly Economic Commentary, Winter 2017," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number QEC20174.
    9. Winkler, Anne E., 1992. "The impact of housing costs on the living arrangements of single mothers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 388-403, November.
    10. Freedman, Ora & Kern, Clifford R., 1997. "A model of workplace and residence choice in two-worker households," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 241-260, June.
    11. Curran, Christopher & Carlson, Leonard A. & Ford, David A., 1982. "A theory of residential location decisions of two-worker households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 102-114, July.
    12. Nandinee Kutty, 2005. "A new measure of housing affordability: Estimates and analytical results," Housing Policy Debate, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 113-142.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kelly, Jane & Mazza, Elena, 2019. "Mortgage Repayment Affordability across the Income Distribution," Financial Stability Notes 15/FS/19, Central Bank of Ireland.
    2. Grotti, Raffaele & Russell, Helen & Fahey, Éammon & Maître, Bertrand, 2018. "Discrimination and inequality in housing in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT361.
    3. Fahey, Éamonn & Russell, Helen & McGinnity, Frances & Grotti, Raffaele, 2019. "Diverse neighbourhoods: an analysis of the residential distribution of immigrants in Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number BKMNEXT376.

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