Fintan O’Toole: I got a mortgage at 24 – unthinkable for today’s young adults

The great stabilisers of conservative Ireland – priests and property – are gone

Cairn Homes chief executive Michael Stanley cited what he described as a “mind-blowing statistic” that the home ownership rates among 25-39-year-olds is now down to about 12 per cent.  Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

Cairn Homes chief executive Michael Stanley cited what he described as a “mind-blowing statistic” that the home ownership rates among 25-39-year-olds is now down to about 12 per cent. Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

Next year it will be 40 years since I got my first mortgage, jointly with my wife-to-be. I am 63. I got a mortgage at 24.

I was a very badly paid freelance journalist with an unstable income. My wife had just got a job as a secondary school teacher. We were able to stop paying rent and buy a small but very comfortable house on the north side of Dublin, half an hour’s walk from O’Connell Bridge. We didn’t think any of this was unusual.

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