Squeeze A Broadsheet Reader


Yesterday’s Sunday Independent


Derek writes:

A technical question. Is there  a measurement  available for who exactly the squeezed middle are? I earn 45k a year and my wife takes home about the same. We live in rented accommodation in Dublin city and cannot afford a house and won’t be able to afford one for  years. We take one holiday a year and have one car and no kids yet… Do we qualify?

Squeezed middle or squashed bottom?

YOU decide!

40 thoughts on “Squeeze A Broadsheet Reader

  1. Rob_G

    If you have a combined income of €90k and can’t afford a house, methinks that you need to start budgeting a bit better.

    1. ollie

      You take home around 5.5K a month. Allowing for rent of say €2k a month in Dublin City Centre and living costs of €1,500 you have €1,500 to save a month. 2 years gets you your deposit. Can I suggest you complain less and get on with it?

      1. Increasing Displacement

        5.5k a month on 2 incomes of 45k
        Around 4800 max
        But otherwise yes, 2 years of nothing and they have a deposit of 36k
        I’d say they are posh and dont want to live in a kip
        They’ll need more time

        1. Harry Molloy

          36k would be hard in two years because nothing is hard to do, weddings, emergencies etc. I’d knock 10k off that before calling it definitely doable

    1. Cian

      technically it’s the top 10% of taxpaying earners that pay the lions share of the tax.
      I’m sure that many of the very top earners pay minimal taxes.

  2. Benz

    If you can’t afford a house on 6k a month then you’re doing something wrong. 2 friends of mine on combines salary of 65k saved 40k, while renting, and purchased a 3 bed house for 235k in North Dublin.

    Everyone says they can’t afford a house until one they day they wake up and realise that both you and your partner have to sacrifice everything for 12 to 18 months, no new anything (phone/car), no holiday, no going out (bottle of wine each at the weekend is pretty much all you can afford). Maybe move to the country and commute, maybe make do with one car. Or no car. No new clothes, etc., etc., etc.

    And if you do that for 12 – 18 months you will a) have a deposit, b) prove to the bank that you are credit worthy, and c) realise just how much money you used to waste.

    And d) you’ll also have your own house.

    So yeah, you can well afford a house, you just can’t live the way you used to and hope to save up for it.

    In my case I moved back in with my parents for 16 months at the age of 30 which was hell on earth. But it’s worth it now.

    1. _d_a_n_

      Property in this country is incredibly overpriced, and the market is incredibly unfair. Rents and residential property prices are rising, making deposits farther and farther out of reach for people. I don’t understand this ‘well I sacrificed for 18 months and did it, so can you’ attitude. Yes you should have to save, but a lot of people don’t have the luxury of moving back in with parents, or have other circumstances which preclude them from this marathon 18 months of budget cutting, like children, which might not have been a choice.

      If the property market was more equitable it would benefit us all. People who have gone through the ‘hell’ required to save a deposit, fair play, but don’t just accept that hell for other people just because you’ve been through it.

      Why should people have to go through hell in order to afford a property?

      1. Benz

        And I wish sausage rolls and pizza were good for me, but they ain’t. So I have to eat porridge for breakfast instead.

        And I walk to work so that I get to, hopefully, live longer.

        I don’t know anyone who ever found it easy to save for a deposit. If it was easy everyone would be doing it and there would be 350,000 people trying to buy houses. What price would houses be then?

        You’re looking for a panacea that can’t exist.

        You’ll own your house for 50 years, hopefully, either that or use it as a platform to get into your next house so yeah, you’ll have to jump through hoops to get it.

    2. Andrew

      Where in North Dublin did your friends buy the house? ‘North Dublin’ is strangely vague? Why is that?
      Where di you buy yours? you never said

      1. Owen C


        Plenty of options there. Decent areas.

        1. Robert

          Big difference in property prices between all these places. You’re clearly making all this up.

          1. Owen C

            Here you go Robert. Take a look and see if you can find a 3 bedroom house in each of those areas for less than 250k. When you come back with your apology, remember to sign it “pillock” so I know its from you.


      2. mildred st. meadowlark

        Why should they have to specify that? What difference does it make? It’s madly overpriced all over Dublin, regardless of the region.

        1. Owen C


          the game here is for people to be able to say “oh, thats bull-poo, you either (a) can’t get a house in Dublin for 235k or (b) they’re only in crap areas”. So basically by denigrating entire areas which have 3 bed properties at 6x the average industrial wage, this proves their point that Dublin housing is hugely overpriced. Welcome to Irish socialism in the Paul Murphy era.

          1. mildred st. meadowlark

            That’s just silliness. I know for a fact that you can get houses for approx €230-250k in north dublin. It does depend on area though. And I’ll grant you, it’s no walk in the park. It involves jumping through numerous hoops.

            Good luck finding a house for that price in donabate, malahide and skerries type places though. You need closer to 500k for that.

          2. Owen C

            Malahide yes, but Donabate and Skerries aren’t too bad (lot of land around there).

            Skerries, near the town, in front of the sea VS Skerries, inland half a mile.

  3. Owen C

    I always assume the top and bottom 10% of households are the upper and lower bands, and the 90% in the middle are the middle class (in income/wealth terms, not ‘class’ terms).

    Data below would suggest upper and lower decile thresholds for gross household income (based on 2014 figures, so maybe add 5-10% to get to 2017?) are > €105/110k and < €13-14k. Where this causes problems is that means anyone between 15k-40k is considered "middle class", even if that means in a lot of situations they really aren't gonna feel it. It also means that a family on 120k may be "upper class" in economic terms, but they're not exactly particularly wealthy given the cost of living in Dublin.

    Stretching the data further to just the top and bottom 5% would make the top end look more realistic (ie above 150/175k), but would mean that households on 10k would be middle class!

    In answer to the readers questions, he is most definitely part of the squeezed middle, probably upper end therein.


  4. Barry the Hatchet

    “the noble aspiration towards property ownership”? Give me a fupping break.

  5. JustSaying

    “3 bed house for 235k in North Dublin”
    Sounds pretty working class to me…….

    1. Robert

      Working class trades typically earn more than middle class professions.

      These terms are all about class, not wealth, and whatsmore largely cultural incongruous imported distinctions that serve only to divide us rather than enlighten.

  6. Jonjo

    You earn a heck of a lot more than myself and my (now) wife. We saved while renting and bought a house in Dublin.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        probably first thing in the morning, when he gets home from work and then just before going to bed

  7. Diddy

    I earn €45k and my wife takes home the same…ergo your wife earns 80kish a year??? Please clarify

  8. Truth in the News

    We sorted out the Landlords nearly 140 years ago, its now time to sort out the property developers
    the building land hoarders, the planning officials, the auctioneers, the solicitors, the revenue, and
    not least the platform that give credence to the property bubble…..the newspapers.
    What we have is a form of institutionalized “Thuggery” to borrow a recent phrase being perpetuated
    on ordinary citizens who want to own a home.

  9. Amorphous Kerry Blob

    People’s belief in free will is lower when they need to urinate or desire sex.

Comments are closed.