Jun 18th, 2010 by Conor McCabe
First of all, as always, the caveats.
This graph is based on dwellings in Irish towns of 1,500 people or more. The reason for that is because the Land Acts skewer home ownership as farms are both a home and a livelihood.
By removing farms from the picture, it’s possible to get a glimpse at house/apartment purchases and rentals in Ireland over a 60-yr period, but to stress again, this is a picture of urban/town living and not of the entire state during those years.
There is a myth that house-ownership is part of our DNA - a kind of Celtic mortgage double-helix. This is put into perspective with the home ownership figures from Eurostat.
These are national figures for 2006, rather than town-only figures as above, so home ownership is slightly higher (at 79% in 2006) than the figures used above (75% for towns in 2006).
This graph points to a European-wide approach to home ownership.
Certainly, in Irish towns home ownership only surpasses the 50% mark in the early 1970s, and breaches 60% in the early 1980s, and that’s after fifteen years of government-backed home purchase incentives (on top of the various labourer cottage purchase schemes dating back to the 1930s).
Could it be that *gasp* the reasons for Ireland’s somewhat average rate of home ownership in European terms are other than innate and biological?