Belfast Telegraph

'50,000 home owners out of work'

One in 12 households with a mortgage is headed by an unemployed person, it has been revealed.

More than 50,000 home owners across Ireland were out of work on the night of last year's Census.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) said half of those did not have anyone in the household with a job.

Most recent figures from the Central Bank revealed that 128,000 mortgages - 11% of accounts - are behind on repayments, with 961 homes repossessed by the end of June.

The Census showed the number of mortgaged households headed by a person out of work more than doubled, from 14,757 in 2006 to 50,792 last year.

There were almost two million properties in the State on the night with 583,000 owned or mortgaged, down slightly from five years earlier. One in three homes in Dublin was an apartment compared to one in 10 nationwide. And the numbers in rented accommodation had soared by almost 50% to 474,788.

Figures revealed immigrants who settled in Ireland lived in smaller homes but paid more in rent. In urban areas households headed by a non-national paid an average of 181 euro per week to private landlords, compared with 178 euro paid by Irish householders.

Apart from British nationals, home ownership rates among the new Irish remained low. There were 1,830 Polish households with a mortgage, and 2,658 from the remaining accession states, up by 73% since 2006.

Elsewhere the number of vacant dwellings stood at 290,000 in April 2011, including 168,427 empty houses and 61,629 apartments - a 50% rise. There were also 59,395 holiday homes empty on the night, with the highest percentage in Donegal, half within a kilometre of the coast and over 2,000 on islands off the west or south west of Ireland.

Deirdre Cullen, senior statistician, said its Roof over our Heads - Housing in Ireland study provides an in-depth picture of housing in Ireland. "It presents detailed results on housing characteristics such as heating, sewerage and water along with an analysis of renting in Ireland, the housing situation among non-Irish nationals and a study of vacant dwellings across the country."

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