Exploring Affordability in the Irish Housing Market


  • Eoin Corrigan Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and University College Dublin
  • Daniel Foley UK Department for Transport
  • Kieran McQuinn Economic and Social Research Institute
  • Conor O’Toole Economic and Social Research Institute
  • Rachel Slaymaker* Economic and Social Research Institute


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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