The Housing Agency - Studies of Irish Housing Experiences, Attitudes & Aspirations

The Housing Agency National Housing Study of Irish Housing Experiences, Attitudes and Aspirations in Ireland 2018

Study number (SN): 0072-01


The Housing Agency. (2021). Housing experience, attitudes and aspirations of Irish Households, 2018. [dataset]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0072-01. URL



This research study, launched in 2018 by the Housing Agency, aims to better understand current housing experiences and attitudes in Ireland, and how different factors; tenure, family size, age, housing type, housing quality, social class and region impact on satisfaction levels. The research also looks at people’s future aspirations for their housing. This research will be used to provide data on trends in residential and neighbourhood satisfaction over time, and will be carried out at regular intervals. This is the first in a series of reports to be published from the research carried out in 2018. This initial phase of the research consisted of a desk-based literature review and exploratory focus groups. The objective of these focus groups was to explore themes around residential satisfaction and housing aspirations, emerging from the literature review, which would guide the quantitative survey design. The focus groups took place in Dublin. Each group lasted 90 minutes and consisted of eight respondents. The groups focused on two cohorts; renters and homeowners. An overview of the series of reports emanating from this research is detailed here. • Report 1– Drivers of Residential Satisfaction and Aspirations in Ireland • Report 2 – Irish Residential and Neighbourhood Satisfaction • Report 3 – Renting in Ireland: Experiences and Attitudes • Report 4 – Homeownership in Ireland: Experiences and Attitudes • Report 5 – Future Housing Aspirations 1.2 Rationale and background for the study The 2016 Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness – Rebuilding Ireland stated that housing is a basic human and social requirement, and went on to state that: “Good housing anchors strong communities, a performing economy and an environment of quality.” 1 Through the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 11.1) the Irish State recognises the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The Housing Agency was set up in May 2010 with a vision to enable everyone to live in good quality, affordable homes in sustainable communities; one of the ways of making a difference is through the Agency’s objective to be a knowledge centre for housing policy and practice. The Housing Agency hopes that, by providing a comprehensive national housing study with the aim of understanding Irish people’s housing situation and aspirations, it will provide input to the development of sustainable communities and help inform policy. 

The Housing Agency commissioned Amárach Research to carry out the survey. 


• Housing • Aspiration
• Housing needs • Quality of life
• Houses • Health status
• Apartments • Neighbourhoods
• Satisfaction • Housing Tenure
• Ireland • Costs
• Attitudes • Residential satisfaction
• Freedom of residence • Housing costs
• Residential mobility • Affordability




Individuals in Households in Ireland. One respondent per household.

Observation units

  • Individual

Temporal coverage

From 06/2018 to 07/2018

Time dimension

Cross-sectional one-time study

Geographical coverage

Country: Ireland

Methods of data collection

  • CAPI (Computer Aided Personal Interviewing)

Sampling procedures

A quota-based sampling approach was used. There were specific social and geographical criteria. Interviewers had a town or address as a starting point and filled their quotas according to their assignment (e.g. males, aged 18-24 etc). 

The target population was householders aged 18 and over, resident in Ireland. The target sample size for the study was 1200 to achieve a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 2.83%. The sample frame used was the Geodirectory of electoral districts in Ireland and the Eircode system, a comprehensive listing of all addresses in Ireland. The survey used a multi-stage probability cluster sampling design; in the first stage, 120 clusters were randomly selected from the 2,700 electoral districts and in the second stage, houses were selected from within each of the 120 clusters. In the third stage, a systematic random sample of every fifth house in each cluster was visited and householders aged 18 and over were selected as respondents based on the ‘next birthday’ rule. The sample points were nationally distributed to ensure diversity in geographic coverage in terms of gender, age and socioeconomic group. Quotas were applied for gender, location and social class.

Variables defining the strata/clusters included in the database:

QC4 Gender

QB Age

QSCDQUOTA Sociodemographic status

Q1 Living situation (tenancy type) for Sample A

The dataset for the current study is comprised of two samples, a main sample (N=1172) and a booster sample (N=196). The additional ‘booster’ sample of 196 was recruited to supplement the initial sample when it was found that rental tenure type was under-represented in the main sample compared with Census 2016 (CSO, 2016). The same demographic quotas (age, gender, location and social class) as had been used for the main sample were applied using the same methodology but recruitment was restricted to the rental tenure type. The two datasets were merged into one dataset, cleaned and quality-checked resulting in a combined dataset of 1369 respondents.

A weight was developed to apply to the combined dataset to achieve a nationally representative sample matched to CSO national census data on gender, location and social class. 

Examples of the syntax used to generate the analysis sample and description of weights used:

SPSS syntax to apply weighting for a nationally representative sample of 1200 respondents:



Response rate

Non-response data (e.g. refusals, derelict house etc.) was not recorded.  A true non-response rate is unable to be calculated as the sample was not a probability sample. 



Data (available through ISSDA application process)

File name


File format/s

Contents of file



Dataset for 2018 Housing Agency Residential Satisfaction Survey

0072-01_Housing Agency_2018.dat


Dataset for 2018 Housing Agency Residential Satisfaction Survey



Dataset for 2018 Housing Agency Residential Satisfaction Survey


Documentation (available for download)

File name

File format/s

Contents of file

2018 Housing Agency Survey Respondent Consent Form


 Information sheet and blank consent form

2018 Housing Agency residential satisfaction questionnaire



2018 Housing Agency Survey Codebook 



2018 Housing Agency Survey Showcards


Showcards used as part of data collection

Housing Attitudes Report 1_Drivers


Housing Agency publication

Housing Attitudes Report 2_Satisfaction


Housing Agency publication

Housing Attitudes Reports 3&4_Experiences


Housing Agency publication



Molloy, R., Healy, S. & Mooney, R. 2018. Drivers of Residential Satisfaction and Aspiration in Ireland. Report 1. National Study of Irish Housing Experiences, Attitudes and Aspirations in Ireland, Dublin: Housing Agency.

Molloy, R., Healy, S. & Mcanulty, U. 2018. Irish Residential Satisfaction. Report 2. National Study of Irish Housing Experiences, Attitudes and Aspirations, Dublin: Housing Agency.



Accessing the data

To access the data, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Research Purposes, sign it, and send it to ISSDA by email.

For teaching purposes, please complete the ISSDA Data Request Form for Teaching Purposes, and follow the procedures, as above. Teaching requests are approved on a once-off module/workshop basis. Subsequent occurrences of the module/workshop require a new teaching request form.

Data will be disseminated on receipt of a fully completed, signed form. Incomplete or unsigned forms will be returned to the data requester for completion.


The Housing Agency is the sole holder of copyright for the dataset and accompanying documentation (consent form and questionnaire)


Any work based in whole or part on resources provided by the ISSDA, should  acknowledge: “Housing experience, attitudes and aspirations of Irish Households, 2018" and also ISSDA, in the following way: “Accessed via the Irish Social Science Data Archive -”.

Citation requirement

The data and its creators shall be cited in all publications and presentations for which the data have been used. The bibliographic citation may be in the form suggested by the archive or in the form required by the publication.

Bibliographical citation

The Housing Agency. (2021). Housing experience, attitudes and aspirations of Irish Households, 2018. [dataset]. Version 1. Irish Social Science Data Archive. SN: 0072-01. URL



The user shall notify the Irish Social Science Data Archive of all publications where she or he has used the data.