The latest permanent tsb Reflecting Ireland research reveals the strong sense of community in Ireland. 65% feel there is a strong community spirit in the areas they live which is also reflected in their relationships with two thirds saying they know their neighbours well. 29% also believe that the pandemic strengthened community bonds further.
However, rising house prices are forcing many Irish Consumers to limit their options with almost half (47%) of people in Ireland unable to afford to live in their preferred community while 35% cannot afford to live in the area they were raised.
Unsurprisingly, age is a distinguishing factor with younger people under 35 having a more limited range of options with 60% of under 35’s saying that they cannot afford to live in their preferred community. Concerns over the cost of living and wider economy continue to grow with consumer sentiment now at levels of negativity not seen since the financial crisis of over a decade ago with 60% feel they’re worse off than this time last year (up from 30% at the start of the year) and 50% expect to be even worse off next year (twice as many as in January).
Reflecting Ireland is a quarterly research series from permanent tsb which examines topical issues. The research was undertaken by Kantar in July 2022 amongst 1,000 adults.
Key findings in respect of Cost of Living include:
The research also examined the public’s attitudes to “community” where key findings included:
Commenting on the research, permanent tsb Head of Corporate Affairs Leontia Fannin said:
“We’re clearly looking at some difficult months ahead for consumers and the increased levels of concern show that people are preparing for a difficult winter.
“While that is the major takeaway from this edition of the research, it is encouraging to see the strong community ethos that still exits. It is encouraging that people are expressing such strong and positive views about their links to their communities.”
“Our research shows the significant commitment and attachment that many people have to their local communities, as well as strong signs of looking out for each other and volunteering with community groups. This is an important and welcome development at a time when the economic picture is less favourable than in the past.”
Behavioural Scientist Claire Cogan said:
“Our research shows that the continuing rise in the cost of living is weighing heavily on people’s minds, and that negative sentiment is on the rise as more people are worrying about their personal financial circumstances. At a time like this, being part of a strong local community offers much needed support and boosts our resilience. It’s good to see that two thirds of us feel there is a strong sense of community where we live - this will help us through the tough months ahead.”
Planning Director at Kantar, Robin McGhee, said:
“This study into community is propitious: at a time when the cost-of-living crisis is severely testing everyone’s emotional and mental stamina, it is natural we should seek solace in the communities that nurture us. There are so many aspects to community that enrich our lives and bind us together, but we can see the vital importance, in particular, that sport plays- it is a universal language of connectedness and local identity.”