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Forgiving The Debt - An Amárach/Frontline Report June 2011

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A survey of Irish people's attitudes towards debt forgiveness for those experiencing difficulties repaying their mortgages and/or in negative equity.

The survey was conducted in June 2011 in association with the RTE Frontline programme.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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Forgiving The Debt - An Amárach/Frontline Report June 2011

  1. 1. Forgiving the Debt 27thJune 2011 © Amárach ResearchForgiving the Debt 1
  2. 2. Forgiving the DebtA record number of home ownersin Ireland are experiencingdifficulties with their mortgagerepayments, as well as sufferingfrom negative equity in theirhomes.There have been calls formeasures to reduce the debtburden of those experiencing suchdifficulties: either through moreflexible mortgage arrangements oroutright debt forgiveness.RTE Frontline & AmárachResearch have conducted anationwide survey of 1,000 Irishpeople in June 2011 to gauge theirviews on what should be done.
  3. 3. A Nation of Owners Home Ownership Most people (57%) own their own homes in Ireland: 57% 55% rising to 84% of those aged 43% 45% 55 and over. Among home owners, a majority do have mortgages: rising to 89% of Do you own your Owners Only: 35-44 year olds, falling to own home? do you have a just 27% of those over 55. mortgage? Yes No Source: Amárach Research, June 2011Forgiving the Debt 3
  4. 4. Forgiveness Q. Would you support a reduction in the mortgage debt of people who are having difficulty meeting their monthly mortgage repayment? Debt Forgivers % Yes The vast majority of Irish people support the idea of 82% some mortgage debt 78% 78% 78% 74% forgiveness for those in difficulty – over three quarters of all adults. Those home owners who do not have mortgages are slightly less supportive. Women are slightly more Total Home Non Mortgage No supportive than men (82% Owner Owner Mortgage vs 74%), and young people more than older people. Source: Amárach Research, June 2011Forgiving the Debt 4
  5. 5. Negatively Positive Q. Would you support a reduction in the mortgage debt for people who are in negative equity on their personal dwelling home? Pro-Negative Again the majority of Irish % Yes people support the idea of some mortgage debt forgiveness for those in 72% negative equity – albeit a 69% 69% 70% 66% lower percentage than for those experiencing repayment difficulties. Those home owners who do not have mortgages are again slightly less supportive of the idea – but most are. Total Home Non Mortgage No Owner Owner Mortgage Women are also slightly more supportive than men (73% vs Source: Amárach Research, June 2011 66%), and young people slightly more than olderForgiving the Debt people. 5
  6. 6. Buy to Sweat Q. Would you support a reduction in mortgage debt for people who bought properties to rent but who cannot meet the repayments currently? Help for Landlords % Yes When it comes to those who bought buy-to-let properties there is considerably less support: only one in three people think they should be entitled to some reduction in their mortgage. 33% 37% 30% 30% 30% There is little gender difference in opinions, but a more marked age difference: with nearly half of 15-24s feeling there should be some Total Home Non Mortgage No Owner Owner Mortgage reduction, compared to less than a quarter of 35-44s. Source: Amárach Research, June 2011Forgiving the Debt 6
  7. 7. Who Pays? Option 1 Q. Would you support the restructuring of debt through higher taxes? Base: all who support a reduction in mortgage debt Taxing Matter % Yes Not surprisingly, whilst most people are in favour of some Total 22% form of debt forgiveness for those experiencing mortgage Male 29% difficulties, there is little Female 16% support for higher taxes to fund debt forgiveness. 15-24s 19% However those home owners 25-34s 21% who do not have mortgages 35-44s 18% are somewhat more supportive of higher taxes: 45-54s 24% 28% of them vs an average of Over 55s 27% just 22%. Source: Amárach Research, June 2011Forgiving the Debt 7
  8. 8. Who Pays? Option 2 Q. Would you support the restructuring of debt through a levy on outstanding mortgages? Base: all who support a reduction in mortgage debt Mortgage Levy % Yes Though there is somewhat more support for this solution Total 29% (than for higher taxes) the level is still low. Male 33% Female 25% Even those who don’t have a mortgage do not especially 15-24s 32% support the idea of a levy, though one in three of those 25-34s 34% who don’t own their home are 35-44s 33% supportive of the solution. 45-54s 20% Over 55s 24% Source: Amárach Research, June 2011Forgiving the Debt 8
  9. 9. Who Pays? Option 3 Q. Would you support the restructuring of debt through a property tax? Base: all who support a reduction in mortgage debt Mortgage Levy % Yes This is a more popular solution of all those Total 36% considered, with little difference in support by Male 39% gender or by age. Female 35% Perhaps not surprisingly, 15-24s 35% those who do not own their own home (i.e.: living in 25-34s 39% public or private rented 35-44s 40% accommodation) are the most supportive (43%) of a 45-54s 26% property tax. Over 55s 39% Source: Amárach Research, June 2011Forgiving the Debt 9
  10. 10. Forgiving the DebtClearly the majority of Irish peoplerecognise the financial andemotional burden being carried bythose experiencing difficulties withtheir mortgages.There is a widespread feeling thatthose in arrears or negative equity(but not those who bought-to-let)should be given some relief fromtheir debts.However, there is less support forthe different means of fundingsuch measures: neither highertaxes, a mortgage levy nor aproperty tax had the support of themajority of people.The desired end is clear: themeans less so...
  11. 11. Forgiving the DebtAbout Amárach ResearchWe are an independent market researchagency, providing a full range of researchservices to our Irish and internationalclients. We have worked with two thirds ofIreland’s top 200 companies. Every yearwe survey over 100,000 people at homeand abroad, as well as running hundredsof focus groups.Our experienced team of directors andexecutives manage online, face-to-faceand cati surveys; as well as qualitativeresearch including focus groups, in-depthsand ethnographic studies. We also offer aunique field-only service to universities andinternational agencies.Amárach Research is proud to be:
  12. 12. Forgiving the Debt Research Partners30 permanent staff UCD & ESRI+ 180 part time in cati/capi teamsFull Service Research+ field only+ consulting Clients in IrelandIrish management owned + UK, USA, GermanyGuaranteed Irish member 100,000+ interviews last year & over 400 focus groups
  13. 13. Forgiving the DebtCall us on 01 410 5200 if you want your business to bounce forward to success: Mark Nolan Managing Director or Michael McLoughlin Chief Executive or Gerard O’Neill Chairmanfor a confidential discussion about your needs and toexplore how we can help you succeed through world class market research. e. gerard.oneill@amarach.com w. www.amarach.com b. www.amarach.com/blog t. twitter.com/AmarachResearch

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