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METRO Monday, July 7, 2008


We’ll tighten the belt, literally


RELAND has gone from the excitement of bounding Celtic Tigers and explosive economic booms, to the doom and gloom of recessions and belt-tightening. While it gives us something different to moan about (other than the weather), what exactly does the recession mean to Urbanites? Metro asked our Urbanite panel: if you had less spare cash to spend, which of the following areas would you cut back spending on? And it was eating habits that became the first victim: Almost twothirds said they would eat out in restaurants less, while more than half said they would cut down on buying expensive food items. Some 45 per cent said they would go out to pubs and clubs less, 40 per cent would attend less concerts, and 22 per cent would cut down on cinema tickets. While 43 per cent said they would buy fewer clothes – 24 per cent on footwear in particular, 31 per cent said they would take fewer trips abroad, and 16 per cent would do less domestic travelling. With a construction sector collapse a key factor in bringing about the recession, Urbanites appear to be happy to wait and see just how far property prices will fall.

What is Urban life all aboUt?

Less is more: Respondents to our survey say the first things to cut back on are eating out, going out, entertainment and shopping – especially for clothing and footwear Picture: Rex Features

When asked if they were intending to buy a property this year, 76 per cent said No, and only 15 per cent said Yes – the remainder were undecided. However, almost three in every five Urbanites claim that the current economic climate has not made them defer their decision to buy a home in Ireland.

Despite being the flavour of the month at the peak of the property boom, 100 per cent mortgages seem to have fallen out of favour – more than 50 per cent of Urbanites would not take one on if it was offered by a lender. In fact, 45 per cent of Metro’s Urbanite panel – made up of young professionals working in the capital

– believe that the changes in the property market are being overhyped in the media. As for the man who – according to Opposition parties – led us into this recession, 42 per cent believe Taoiseach Brian Cowen is right for the job. Some 22 per cent disagree, while 36 per cent said they would wait and see before drawing any conclusions.

Urban Life is Metro’s innovative study of ‘Urbanites’ – young, full-time working professionals in Greater Dublin. Every year we research the opinions of 2,000 Metro readers, asking for their views on everything from current affairs to mustsee movies. n What do I get out of it? We’re giving away €27,000 in prizes – hundreds of €30 HMV vouchers and €1,000 in cash after each survey. If you complete five or more of our six surveys, you will be entered into our €3,000 prize draw. n What’s involved? The survey is sent to Urban Life members every six to eight weeks. All surveys are online and only take 15 minutes. n Sign me up now Visit or FREE TEXT to 50400. Text TNS (space) first name (space) e-mail address to register your interest in taking part.

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