Families who have outgrown their home are delaying having more children due to housing constraints

Up to a quarter of Connacht/Ulster families feel they have outgrown their current home, according to new research published today by Aviva Home Insurance. Just 17% of those who described their houses as too small for their current family needs said they could afford to buy a bigger home. This figure has increased since January when a similar survey found that only 8% could afford to trade up, reflecting the improving economic position. 

In the absence of an increase in housing supply in locations where there is market demand, the ESRI is forecasting that house prices will continue to rise over the next three years. This suggests that the position of many of those trapped in constrained living spaces is unlikely to improve in the short term. The size of their living space is also impacting decisions in other areas of these families’ lives: 23% of Connacht/Ulster households who feel they have outgrown their homes said they have delayed having another child due to lack of spacei.

Respondents to the Aviva Home Insurance survey outlined the negative side-effects of living in a family home that is now too small for their family’s needs:           

68% said clutter and untidiness was a problem;
44% cited noisy living conditions that impact on ability to study or work;
49% reported having no space for visitors to stay;
23% reported family bickering and elevated stress levels;
25% said their children were dominating the living space.
Only 20% of Connacht/Ulster families who have outgrown their homes said they could afford to refurbish or extend while 14% were constantly worried they would never be able to trade up.  Commenting on the research, Cathy Summers, Marketing Manager at Aviva said, “Living in a constrained space can be stressful for anyone but particularly for a family with our research showing that a significant number of couples are postponing having more children because they simply don’t have the living space. But the research, which was conducted in January and September of this year, also shows a noticeable uplift in the number of families who say they can afford to move up the housing ladder (up from 10% to 16%). This is good news for these families but with house prices continuing to rise, a substantial number of families will remain in cramped conditions.


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