Home & Health

Dividing the Nation


In recent years, we have profiled the economic opportunities between urban and rural areas of the country, but as unemployment rates fall, it is housing and and health which is creating generational divides.

How the Housing Crisis will impact on tomorrow's consumer.


Life Priorities

As a nation, we are preoccupied with three key areas - which are translated in our analysis. Jobs, Health and Housing. During the past ten years, twenty-somethings emigrated and the unemployment rate declined as people (particularly men) returned to the workplace. As a result, the Government and public focus on jobs, jobs, jobs has declined. Attention has now turned to health with an ageing population and housing for a younger generation.

As more people re-enter the workforce, and the population grows, there has been increased pressure on the housing sector and health system.

Every year, the most engaged stories in health have been waiting times in hospitals, with the inevitability that people will lie on trollies. While this was still a story in winter 2016/17, the homelessness crisis reached such a spike, that activists occupied Apollo House and gained attention from the general public.

Health stories

Other health related stories include free GP care for under-sixes launched, the debate about HPV vaccines, and the Sisters of Charity announced that they will end their involvement with National Maternity Hospital. All these stories had an awareness greater than 70% of the population and all scored high in importance.

Housing stories

Those aged over 40 tend to score health stories higher, while those under 40 are more likely to engage with housing stories. The most engaged with housing stories have always focused on the continuing crisis in providing houses and the number of homeless people increasing.

Initiatives to ease the pressure in housing have been engaged with less, from the help-to-buy scheme, proposals on rent certainty and planning regulations have all had an awareness below 70%



A Generational Divide

4 in 5 Irish people recognise that there is a growing divide between those who own a house and those who do not. We would expect this consensus to be translated in what people believe should be the Government's main priority. However, depending on whether you rent or own, your demands of the Government differ.


Home-owners want resources to go on health (as this group tends to be older families or older adults), while renters want resources to be focused on affordable housing (as this group tends to be younger families and young adults).


Housing Crisis will be the story of 2018

Despite this generational split, the number of human stories shared about housing is swinging attention from health to homes. The housing crisis will be the news story of 2018. This will not only impact on young families and young adults, but also their parents - as the number of adults living with Mum or Dad increases. As rents increase and people save for deposits, they will have less money to spend on other categories which will impact on every market.


Tomorrow's Consumer has less Spending Power

As rents increase and housing stock remains flat, young families and young adults will have to budget more, in comparison to the generation before them. When we compare families with young kids (Young Families) and families with teenagers (older families), we can see how the impact of owning a home with a family has in comparison to renting or saving.

Put simply, young families and their peers with no kids have less money to spend on areas outside of housing. For every €100 earned, Older Families can afford to spend €38 after they cover groceries, mortgage, and other costs of living. In comparison, for every €100 earned by Young Families, they can afford to spend €26 on brands after covering these same costs.

Breakdown of Income Spent

Brands need to Discount or Create Value

There is no great surprise that 46% of young adults and families are expecting to see an income increase in 2018 to cover these rising housing costs.

Despite coming through years of discounting, brands will continue to feel pressure to offer the absolute best price for these households budget. Equally, brands need to create additional value for these households as they question every penny not spent on higher rent.

The effect of the housing crisis is much wider than just the property market, but impacts on a generations' spending power and brand choice.