No place like home? Rising home maintenance costs of major concern for three in 10 homeowners

Almost three in ten (29pc ) homeowners and renters cite rising maintenance costs as their biggest concern when it comes to their home, with worries about extreme weather, burglaries and unexpected large repair bills also ranking high.

This is according to the findings of a new survey by Peopl Insurance. Headline findings from the survey, which polled 1000 people nationwide, reveal that the rising cost of home maintenance is the number one worry, while the increased incidences of flooding and extreme weather events, the rise in burglary rates and an unexpected large repairs bill came in at joint second place, with these being the primary woes of 15pc of survey participants respectively.

“Irish homeowners and renters have been battling with rising living costs for almost two years, with the latest official figures showing that consumers have endured their 23rd straight month of annual inflation being over 5pc [2]. Inflation in home maintenance costs is even higher, with a 9pc annual increase recorded in the cost of services for the mawintenance and repair of homes. This consistent high inflation has put huge pressure on Irish people, as evidenced by numerous reports over the last year, including a recent report by the ESRI [3] which pointed to a significant rise in the number of people who can’t afford two out a list of ten essential items, such as a warm winter coat or a weekly roast dinner.

Against this backdrop, it’s perhaps no surprise that rising home maintenance costs are a major source of worry to so many homeowners. However, that level of concern warrants attention. Having a safe, secure and comfortable home is crucial – for the most part, a good home is the foundation of stable individuals and families. People need to be able to maintain and look after their home and rising living costs mean many simply cannot afford do so,” commenting on the survey findings, Paul Walsh, CEO of Peopl Insurance, said.

Other highlights from the Peopl survey include:

More men are concerned about the rise in burglary rates than women (19pc versus 12pc ).

For one in ten (11pc ) homeowners and renters, the issue of most concern around the home is their ability to afford their mortgage repayments and rent.

Overall, less than one in ten (8pc ) say they are not concerned about anything in relation to their home. However, men were twice as likely as women to feel this way (12pc versus 5pc ).

The issue of least concern to people in relation to their homes was the increase in violent crimes – such as homicides, assaults and attempted murders, with 7pc citing this as the most perturbing issue. Interestingly, people living in Dublin were the most likely to be concerned about the rise in violent crime. At least twice as many Dubliners as people living in Connacht, Munster, Ulster or elsewhere in Leinster cited this as the issue of most concern around their home.

The over 55s are most likely to be concerned about an unexpected large repair bill – with almost one in five (19pc ) citing this is their main concern. As much of this age cohort will be retired, their income is fixed and possibly modest and so they could possibly struggle to afford a large bill. It is also possible that a significant portion of this age cohort might live in older properties which might require a higher level of maintenance as a result.

While overall, 15pc of homeowners and renters are most worried about the impact of flooding and extreme weather events on their home, this is particularly true of residents of Northern Ireland (NI ), with almost four in ten Northern Irish people citing this as the issue of most concern.

 

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