Three quarters of renters with flatmates feel they will never own a home, CSO finds

Vast majority of people living alone say they are happy without anyone else

Seven in ten of those sharing accommodation said they enjoy the company of others, half feel they do not have enough privac Photograph: iStock

Seven in ten of those sharing accommodation said they enjoy the company of others, half feel they do not have enough privac Photograph: iStock

 

More than three-quarters of people who share rented accommodation with people other than family members feel they will never be in a position to own their own place, according to new data on domestic life released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

It also found that of those who live alone, the vast majority (86 per cent) said they are happy without anyone else.

Although seven in ten of those sharing accommodation said they enjoy the company of others, half feel they do not have enough privacy. Almost the same amount (44 per cent) reported feeling lonely all or most of the time, a far higher rate than the 17 per cent of those living alone.

The detailed insights on a range of home-life issues are the first to be released as part of an open access online survey recently launched by the CSO.

A snapshot of results from its Life at Home Pulse Survey took in the views of almost 10,500 people between May and June as part of the Take Part campaign.

It quickly prompted political reaction. Sinn Féin’s spokesman on housing Eoin Ó Broin said the 76 per cent of house-sharing respondents who feel resigned to never having their own home was “a huge number and serves to further highlight that many people feel hopeless about the housing situation in this State”.

Labour’s housing spokeswoman Rebecca Moynihan said the fact so many people were happy living alone showed there was a need for policy to reflect this.

“[The Government] needs to stop basing housing policy on joint incomes,” she said. “A recent (unspecified) survey found that a single person on an average salary can only afford to buy starter homes in seven counties - Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. This is depriving single people of the opportunity to live in affordable accommodation in cities.”

Meanwhile, the CSO data also showed how the pandemic had affected the relationships between parents and their adult children.

Since its onset, 29 per cent of respondents living with both parents reported an improvement in relations with their mother compared to just 16 per cent who said the opposite.

For those living with one parent, just under one fifth reported an improvement with 27 per cent reporting it had disimproved.

Three in ten parents who live with their adult children said their relationship has improved since the start of the crisis, compared to 8 per cent who said the opposite.

Whatever the relationship, children are more likely to want to leave - 88 per cent said they would prefer to live apart compared to exactly half of parents who felt the same way.

Six in ten lone parents said they feel lonely all or most of the time, although three-quarters of them have someone to count on if they have a serious personal problem. Almost half said they often experience “judgmental attitudes or exclusion” as a lone parent.

In the volatile area of household chores, perceptions of who does what differed widely. Those who live with a partner of the same sex were more likely to report a balanced division of responsibilities (51 per cent) compared with 42 per cent of heterosexuals.

However, financial decisions are more likely to be balanced when the person lives with a partner of the opposite sex (62 per cent) compared with same sex relationships (54 per cent).

And perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, men and women have differing perceptions of who carries out the household tasks - 65 per cent of women said they are mainly responsible for chores, while just 38 per cent of men said women did the most.