Survey Results | Cost of living challenges

Some 46% of homeowners putting off ‘big life plans’ due to cost of living

83% of homeowners are shelving their home improvement plans

1 in 5 still hope to buy a property and/ or start a pension in 2023

With Ireland’s inflation rate stubbornly remaining at over 7%, people throughout the country are putting big plans and major life decisions on the long finger or cancelling them entirely in a bid to combat the cost-of-living challenges.  In a survey by iReach Insights and commissioned by Aviva Insurance Ireland DAC (Aviva) that polled 1,000 people on the effects rising inflation is having on major life decisions, 24% of homeowners who had intended to make some big changes said they have decided to put some of them off this year, with a further 22% putting off all major plans entirely.

The survey found that those aged between 45 and 54 are most likely (54%) to delay their plans due to inflation and the financial uncertainty it brings.

There is no doubt that ongoing fears over the rising cost of living has made people think twice. Many have not only put their plans on hold, but some have removed them entirely from their 2023 calendar in order to meet rising interest rates, rent, energy, and food bills. It costs much more to fill the trolley or to heat a house than it did this time twelve months ago and it is understandable that people are cautious with their finances as they do not know when this storm will pass.

Billy Shannon, Aviva

On Hold

Of the big life changes people are placing on hold:

  • 65% are putting off home improvement plans which increases to 83% in the case of people who own their own home.
  • Almost three in ten (28%) are stalling on either buying a home or moving to a new one.
  • One in five (19%) of those aged 55+ are putting off retiring

People are even putting off some major milestones such as buying a home (15%), retiring (8%), having a baby (6%), and getting married (5%). Many people simply do not feel comfortable with starting the next chapter of their lives possibly out of fear that they won’t have the finances available to support themselves in the future. Of course, all of this will have a knock-on impact on Ireland’s societal landscape with couples getting married and having children later in life, people renting for longer and those nearing retirement working past the national retirement age.

Billy Shannon, Aviva

Pressing Ahead

In terms of plans that respondents are pressing ahead with despite inflation:

  • Home improvements are the forerunner with 58% of homeowners saying they are still planning to make improvements to their home this year.
  • Of the 15% who are not putting off any big plans this year, 21% are moving forward with their plans to buy a house or apartment and a further 10% of those surveyed are looking to move

But not everyone is stopping in their tracks. A quarter of people who had plans for 2023 have said that they intend to plough on with them, which is encouraging to hear.  Making home improvements remains top of the agenda for people who are unaffected by inflationary pressures – with more women (55%) than men (32%) intending to do this”, concluded Billy Shannon.

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