The Bank of Ireland shared this cutesy tweet about a woman called Orla who moved in with her parents in order to save for a mortgage.
Isn’t that just lovely?
It was also accompanied by a blog post written by Orla about how her boyfriend and herself could not afford their rented flat anymore, so both moved back in with their parents.
Newstalk journalist Richard Chambers sums it up by saying that the “deleted tweet is all you need to know about property market & attitudes towards young people. Bin that avocado toast eh?”
Orla explained that she lived with her parents during her time studying at DIT, and now works in digital marketing. When she lived with her boyfriend they shelled out €40,000 over four years to rent their two-bedroom home. At the end of the piece, it says that Orla and her boyfriend have bought their own home in Swords after taking the guts of a year and a half to “chip away” at a deposit.
She says she saw the money she spent on renting as “dead money”, and the amount they paid on rent broke their parents’ hearts.
“I am back in my old bedroom at home,” she said.
The property crisis isn’t just crippling low-income earners or students; young professionals like Orla and her boyfriend are also being forced to move home – which in and of itself is a privilege, which Orla recognises.
“We’re both very lucky to have such supportive parents who understand how difficult it can be to save a significant deposit amount,” explained Orla.
The reality is, not everyone can move home.
The ability to move in with your parents when things get tough is a massive advantage, especially if the family home is based near your place of employment.
For people from the sticks like myself, the necessity to move home can be a tough call.
And what about people whose parents aren’t around anymore? Or who they aren’t on good terms with?
“Lending decisions in the past that are now coming home to roost”
The timing of which this advert was released has an air of irony about it. Maybe Bank of Ireland thought that it would be ‘topical’ to release it a few days after the CAO results came out and a huge spike in the already extortionate prices would become apparent. Or maybe Bank of Ireland genuinely care about all of us all getting the perfect house we can call our own, and to do so we may need to move back in with ma and pa for a while.
In reality, the truth is a lot more cynical.
They’re making a lot of money off people like Orla, who are being encouraged to live beyond their means.
Fun fact; This is exactly what happened just before the huge property crash in 2008. People were encouraged to borrow, borrow, borrow – and when they couldn’t pay it back? Shit hit the fan and everything went down the proverbial.
What followed were years of austerity, which is still felt today. The Fianna Fail led government invested over €60 billion to bail out the banks, leading to Ireland’s reliance on the IMF. One of the six main lenders that came under scrutiny during the crash was, you guessed it, the Bank of Ireland.
In 2009, Bank of Ireland’s chief executive Brian Goggin admitted that both banks and people had “all got carried away on the euphoria” of the Celtic Tiger. When RTÉ journalist Christopher McKevitt asked Mr Goggin about his salary – he said he expected to make “less than €2 million” in 2009; a tidy sum considering that at this point, the Irish government was pumping €3.5 billion into the organisation. Mr Goggin acknowledged that mistakes were made, and “lending decisions in the past that are now coming home to roost”.
And now they’re issuing this questionable advice to young professionals looking to step on the property ladder. Just move home with mammy and daddy eh? Have we learned nothing from the credit crunch that occurred not even a decade ago?
They’re releasing this ridiculous advice in the midst of a property crisis. Students fear being forced to turn down CAO offers and defer college due to the extortionate prices landlords charge. Tech professionals have even had to turn down jobs in Dublin as they couldn’t afford accommodation.
The advice of Bank of Ireland is normalising the prices which landlords get away with charging, and it is perpetuating the property crisis by encouraging people to live beyond their means.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Francis Doherty from the Peter McVerry Trust has expressed his thoughts on the BOI article.
“It’s pretty disappointing to see the financial institutions return to the practices that happened just before the property crash, enticing people to stretch as far as they can in order to get a property that’s highly unaffordable,” he said.
Instead, Doherty says that BOI should be vocal in condemning the current state of the housing and rental market.
According to Ronan Lyons’ Daft.ie report on Housing for Q2 of 2017, the majority of Dublin’s 25 markets have saw prices rise by at least 10% in the year to June, which is the highest number since early 2015.
The Daft.ie report on renting for Q2 of 2017 isn’t too hope-inspiring either, with rent rising 11.7% year on year. On average, the average rent in Ireland is €1,159. In Dublin, rent has risen by an average of 2.3% between March and June – the 20th consecutive quarter of rental increases. The cost of a single or double room in most parts of Dublin rose by almost 10% in the year to June.
So in summation – get a grip, Bank of Ireland.
Bank of Ireland promptly deleted the blog post, but you can have a gander at the cached version I saved by clicking the link below.