Could empty nesters be crucial to solving the housing crisis?

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Another day, another light shone on the housing system. Influential think-tank ESRI published its latest quarterly economic commentary this morning, and as usual it has a host of useful nuggets. In the midst of the housing shortage, its suggestion, as Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports, that two-thirds of homes in Ireland are under-occupied catches the eye. The suggestion that more than a million homes in the State have more rooms than residents need is sure to get tongues wagging. It also comes a day after said the supply of second hand homes is at the lowest level in at least 17 years.

The ESRI’s research and the Daft report are in some ways related. If empty nesters aren’t downsizing, then that would likely contribute to the low level of people selling their homes at present. According to ESRI, more than 88 per cent of people aged over 65 lived in under-occupied housing. But do people have adequate options to downsize to? It appears not. There are also many factors that contribute to why people would move to a smaller home, and that won’t work for everybody. Nor should people be ever “forced” to move home. Still, it is yet another factor to be considered in the ongoing housing shortage.

The ESRI report also presents a healthy outlook for the Irish economy, with inflation slowing and the labour remaining strong. Eoin has the details.

The price of a pint is set to climb by about 10 cent from the middle of next month – and while Diageo described the increase as necessary to “maintain a sustainable business”, publicans have condemned it as a “hammer blow” to the sector. Conor Pope reports.

The chief executive of builder Cairn Homes saw his total remuneration increase by more than €800,000 last year, while his counterpart at peer group Glenveagh Properties saw his fall by more than €100,000, the companies’ annual reports show. Colin Gleeson has read the reports.

First-time buyer activity drove mortgage approval activity up by 6 per cent in volume and by 7 per cent in value in February compared with the same month last year, new data from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) shows. Colin Gleeson has the story.

French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel’s Iliad Group has no immediate plans to exercise an option to take a controlling stake in Eir, according to a spokesman for the company. As Joe Brennan reports, taking control of the company would increase the debt burden of the wider Iliad Group, which was listed in Paris before Mr Neil took it private in late 2021.

In his column, Martin Sandbu explains why Europe is making its trade policy conditional on how goods are produced.

Boston Scientific, the medical device manufacturer, was given financial supports worth €18 million by IDA Ireland in 2023, new figures show. Barry J Whyte has the story.

A record number of complaints were lodged with the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) last year, with concerns over customer service dominating and a significant number of consumers making contact over fraudulent activity on their accounts, according to a report. Conor has the details.

Publican Charlie Chawke has won approval to build a funeral home at The Goat Pub in south Dublin. Gordon Deegan has read the planning documents.

Proposed new gambling laws should not include bans on bookies offering free bets and other incentives to their customers, according to Paul Edgecliff-Johnson, chief financial officer at Paddy Power owner, Flutter Entertainment. As Barry O’Halloran reports, the comments came after the Irish gambling giant said once-off, non-cash costs left it with a $1.2 billion (€1.1 billion) loss last year.

In Commercial Property, Ronald Quinlan reports that Big Four firm EY Ireland has narrowed the search for its new Dublin headquarters down to two locations, one of which is situated just across the street from its existing offices at the Harcourt Centre on Harcourt Street. Ronald also reports that Carisbrook House in Ballsbridge is to be demolished and redeveloped several years after its last tenant left the premises.

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