Limerick's Jan O'Sullivan says controversial Bank of Ireland ad shows 'grim reality'

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

‘Orla’, the woman in the Bank of Ireland ad who moved home with her parents, partner in tow, so they could save for a mortgage

‘Orla’, the woman in the Bank of Ireland ad who moved home with her parents, partner in tow, so they could save for a mortgage

A CONTROVERSIAL advert by Bank of Ireland, which was later removed online, shows a generation “locked out” of the housing market.

Social Democrats representative for Limerick city, Sarah Jane Hennelly, said the reaction to the advert is a reflection of young people struggling to find a home to buy, and in some cities, even finding an affordable place to rent.

The advert depicted a young couple who had moved home with their parents to avoid rent and to save for a deposit for a mortgage.

While the bank’s campaign was “misjudged”, she feels that it has served to expose the lack of support for young people trying to get on the property ladder.

“Buyers in Limerick need support from a community banking sector, rather than being spoken down to by banks that we, the taxpayer, bailed out.”

“Moving home to save for a mortgage is a logical choice for some, but the same banking sector that helped create a malfunctioning market has made it a necessity for many - this has rightfully hit a nerve with people”.

The “outrage” the ad provoked will continue until the market loosens, she said.

She said the Social Democrats is “made up of young people from this so-called locked out generation.”

The Peter McVerry Trust, the housing and homeless agency, has warned that affordable and social housing must be urgently provided in order to avoid a housing “catastrophe” in the near future.

Labour spokesperson on housing, Jan O’Sullivan, said the online mortgage advice for young people by Bank of Ireland reflects the grim reality of the housing and rental market.

“Unfortunately the current state of the housing and rental market means that for many young people trying to buy a house, moving back in with their parents is their only option to save for a deposit,” she said.

She pointed to record rents now seen in Limerick and across the country, according to the latest report from the property website Daft.ie.

“It is simply becoming unaffordable for those that actually manage to secure a property to rent, to pay these extortionate prices while trying to save for a deposit at the same time.

Deputy O’Sullivan said that with supply at an all-time low, there are warnings that house prices will continue to spiral for the next five to ten years if immediate action isn’t taken.

Rents have risen in Limerick city by nearly 11 per cent in the last year, with the average rent now standing at €919, according to the property website Daft.ie.