New statistics have shattered the myth that home ownership in Ireland is the highest in Europe.

As property prices continue to plummet, experts have confirmed that Irish house ownership is no different to the rest of the continent.

In fact the Spanish, Greeks and Portuguese and a host of Eastern European countries have higher ownership levels than Ireland according to the Irish Independent.

The paper reports that some 74 per cent of Irish people own their own home, a figure which is in line with the average for the 27 members of the European Union.

Despite the property boom at the height of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland only ranks 18th in home ownership levels out of 31 countries in a 2009 survey by the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat.

The highest home ownership is in Romania (96 per cent), followed by Lithuania (91 per cent), Hungary (89 per cent) and Slovakia (89 per cent).

Ireland comes in at 73.7 per cent while 70 per cent of people in the UK own their own homes.


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Conor McCabe, author of a new book on the Irish economy entitled ‘Sins of the Father’, told the paper that Irish home ownership levels have dropped from a high of 79 per cent in the 1990s.

“Ireland was bucking European trends with a declining level of home ownership, yet the popular narrative has Ireland with the highest rate of home ownership in Europe and, unlike the rest of Europe, obsessed with owning their homes,” said McCabe.