Only 14% of people renting by choice, Threshold survey finds

galway daily news threshold survey 2022 housing crisis
Pictured are Aideen Hayden, Chair of Threshold’s Policy and Research Group with John-Mark McCafferty, CEO, Threshold, Ann-Marie O’Reilly, Policy Officer, Threshold and Ciara Walsh, Tenant Sentiment Survey Participant and John-Mark McCafferty, CEO, Threshold. Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O'Brien. Picture: Jason Clarke.

A new Threshold survey has revealed that while the majority of renters would prefer to own their own home in five years’ time, very few expect this to become a reality.

The housing charity’s latest Tenant Sentiment Survey revealed that by 2027, only 28% expect they will own their own home.

Fifteen percent expect to have social housing and over half (54%) expect they will still be renting.

The charity says that the reasons for wanting to exit the rental market are clear, with almost half of people saying they do not feel secure in their tenancy.

These feelings of insecurity were felt most strongly by adults heading one-parent families.

In 2021 Threshold assisted almost 20,000 households throughout Ireland. Some have delayed starting a family, others have experienced homelessness, been unable to accumulate any savings for a rainy day, had to couch-surf or move from one house share to another, as subsequent landlords sell up.

They worry about their future, whether they will still be renting when they retire, what will happen to their children if they must move house and school again, and what will they do if their rent increases.

The percentage of people who are renting because they cannot buy their own home has increased from 49% in 2020 to 64% in 2022 – a 15% jump in just two years.

Threshold Chief Executive Officer John Mark McCafferty said that the current housing crisis affects many groups of people across Irish society.

“Tenants’ feelings of security in the home have deteriorated since 2020, the outset of the pandemic,” he said.

“In 2022, only 38% reported feeling secure in their home. This is unsurprising as only one fifth of those who participated in the survey left their last rental home out of choice and one in four were evicted as the landlord was selling the home or needed it for their own use.”

McCafferty said that when it came to moving, 92% found it difficult or extremely difficult to find a new rental home.

“This is across all family types, income ranges, ages etc. This crisis in the rental sector is being felt across the board.”