Number owning a property in Dublin increases by 8% in 2020...culture change or bad data?


The number of homeowners rose across the country in 2020 as the impact of the pandemic saw more people eschew the vagaries of the rental market for the security – and potential space – of their own home.

The increase was sharpest in Dublin, with the numbers owning a property increasing by 8 per cent, up from 848,700 at the end of 2019 to 916,400 at the end of 2020, according to preliminary unpublished figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). At the same time, overall occupied dwellings in the capital rose by just 1 per cent.

Dermot O’Leary, chief economist with Goodbody Stockbrokers, says the data shows how the pandemic has triggered “a remarkable shift in the way we work and the way we live”, by catalysing people into shifting out of renting and into buying their own home.

Lorcan Sirr, a senior lecturer in housing at Technological University Dublin, agrees that the pandemic has caused a shift.

“The pandemic brought home why people needed more space, both mentally and physically. People in rental accommodation saw how vulnerable they were,” he says, adding that “for people who nearly had a deposit, the pandemic gave them the opportunity to put it together much quicker”.

Irish Times article

With a chief economist and a senior lecturer pointing towards a culture shift, would anyone like to speculate how one source of data can estimate the numbers of people owning their own home in Dublin increasing by almost 58,000 when the Property Price Register suggests that there were only 14,658 transactions where homes were bought in 2020. A net 4 people would have to have taken ownership of each property? Might it be that younger people and students have gone back to their parent’s homes and are now filling out the questionnaire as to whether the place they are living in is owner occupied as opposed to renting?

Property Price Register search link


I’m not sure about O’Leary but Sirr is fairly consistent in his support of Eoin O’Broin. Whether this means he has a political agenda is less clear but SF are generally supportive of anything that purports to deconstruct the current economic model.

Still, it would be understandable if what is suggested above to have been happening were to happen. Whether it has actually happened to date to any great extent already is obviously less clear.


On the same day, the IT published this piece by Fintan O’Toole about home ownership but it seems to come from a different planet.

I was thinking about this when I read Eoin Burke-Kennedy’s report in The Irish Times of recent remarks by the chief executive of one of the State’s biggest house builders, Cairn Homes. Michael Stanley cited what he described as a “mind-blowing statistic”.

It related to home ownership rates among 25- to 39-year-olds. Stanley noted that the percentage of this age group that own their own home dropped from 22 per cent in 2011 to 16 per cent in 2016. Based on his company’s own research, it is now about 12 per cent. That really is pretty mind-blowing.

What is really mind-blowing is that no-one in the IT thought to mention to FO’T (their super-star commentator) that they would publish official statistics that ran directly counter to his thesis in this article i.e. in reality, homeownership is increasing, having decreased during the bust when more people rented.

I don’t think any of the 140 or so commentators on the IT website noticed this either.

Of course, it wouldn’t put FO’T off his stride - when he gets a whiff of the Catholic Church and Fianna Fail (to be precise, CJH), he gets the bit between his teeth and nothing will stop him. Pity he doesn’t have any real solution to the genuine problem of excessive house prices in urban areas.


Presumably when he becomes aware of these stats over the course of the next few days, next week we’ll get an article citing these stats as evidence of the return to prominence of the Catholic Church in Ireland…cos it has to be one or the other right?

Or maybe homeownership is in no way related to levels of, or tendency toward religious practice, and everything to do with the availability of housing stock, access to credit and the intersection of pricing with supply and demand (inclusive of rates of immigration)???

You’d have to expect that some day soon Fintan and the rest of the progressive clown show across the Irish media are going to wake up and realise this is no longer 1985.