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No place like home? Rising home maintenance costs worry 3 in 10

  • Extreme weather events, rise in burglaries, soaring upkeep costs, unexpected large repair bill are homeowner’s top 4 concerns
  • More men are concerned about the rise in burglary in Ireland

Almost three in ten (29%) 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 15% of survey participants respectively.

Commenting on the survey findings, Paul Walsh, CEO of Peopl Insurance said:

“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 money of annual inflation being over 5%. Inflation in home maintenance costs is even higher, with a 9% annual increase recorded in the cost of services for the maintenance 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 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.”

Other highlights from the Peopl survey include:

  • More men are concerned about the rise in burglary rates than women (19% versus 12%).
  • For one in ten (11%) 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 (8%) say they are not concerned about anything in relation to their home. However, men were twice as likely as women to feel this way (12% versus 5%).
  • 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 7% 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 (19%) 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, 15% 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.

Mr Walsh added:

From runway inflation to rising mortgage interest rates to more frequent extreme weather events, many homeowners are grappling with issues which they have never encountered before. It is clear from our research that many are feeling increasingly vulnerable as a result and an interesting insight was that regardless of what socio-economic group you fall into, our survey would suggest that are worries are all the same. A significant portion of people are worried about the rising cost of maintaining their home and their ability to cover the cost of an unexpected repair bill. Against all these challenges, it is crucial that homeowners have adequate home insurance to protect themselves.”