Twice as many men in their 20s left State in five years to 2011 as women

Tue, Jun 19, 2012, 01:00

IN THE five years to 2011, 10 per cent of Irish men in their 20s emigrated.

During the same period this trend was also reflected in the opposite sex but to a lesser extent, with one in 20 women of the same age moving abroad.

In absolute terms, this amounts to net outward migration of 40,000 people in this age group.

The analysis, contained in an Economic and Social Research Institute paper written by Pete Lunn, is based on recently published data from the 2011 census. The gender difference, which was not previously in evidence, was likely to be accounted for by the bigger job losses in male-dominated sectors such as construction since the recession began.

While the figures show high net emigration among Irish twenty-somethings in the 2006-2011 period, foreign nationals of that age arrived here in even larger numbers over the period, with net immigration of 50,000.

A separate paper on the residential property market, also published yesterday by the ESRI and based on fresh census data, found large differences in the stock of unoccupied homes in urban and rural areas.

On the basis of this finding, it concludes that a significant increase in demand to buy houses in key urban areas could put upward pressure on prices.

The report, written by David Duffy and John FitzGerald, also indicated that rents are likely to rise in these urban areas on the assumption of “significant” net immigration in the period to 2015.

A “dramatic” increase in the share of households in private rented accommodation took place over the five years to 2011.

In 2006 just under one in 10 households rented. But by 2011 that figure had almost doubled to 18.5 per cent. The figure rose as high as 37.5 per cent in Galway city and 32 per cent in Dublin city.

The authors suggest some of this may amount to a long-term change in the traditionally high levels of owner-occupancy in the Republic. But they believe much of it is a result of people postponing purchases because of the unavailability of finance or because they expect prices to fall further.

In an effort to calculate the costs of renting versus buying, the report considers a range of factors. Based on their calculations, the authors conclude that renting is better value than buying nationally. On the assumption that prices continue to decline over the coming year at the same rate as they have done over the past year, the report finds that it would remain considerably cheaper to rent than to buy.

The calculation includes provision for the capital loss over the coming year on a property purchased now.

The authors shy away from offering any predictions on when residential property prices will stabilise.