GOVERNMENT HOUSING POLICIES CAUSING PRICE SURGE
Labour spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan TD has said that the Government’s housing policies are directly causing the surge in prices, and that the help to buy scheme has accelerated the rise.
Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“The rapidly increasing price of housing is a direct result of the policies that the Fine Gael Government, ably supported by Fianna Fáil has pursued over the last year. It is directly resulting in higher prices for the builder, larger mortgages for the banks, and leaving first time buyers and the State to pick up the tab.
“The Help to Buy scheme has added fuel to the surge in prices, with a large number of buyers now chasing a small number of new builds.
“It appears that the changes to the Central Bank mortgage rules have been more than enough to help first time buyers access the market and that the Help to Buy scheme has instead turbo-charged prices.
“The Government did not carry out any cost benefit, or economic analysis on the Help to Buy scheme before it was introduced, but did concede such an impact assessment for September 2017 to my colleague Joan Burton when the Finance Bill was debated in the Dáil.
“The Minister for Finance should now proceed with such a study as soon as possible to see if their policy has adversely impacted on the residential property market.
“The lack of rent certainty has also meant that the housing market remains an exceptionally attractive option for investors seeking high returns on rent, meaning prices are rising for second hand homes as well as new builds.
“Labour proposed to link rents to inflation which would have reduced investment returns and helped those currently renting to sustainably save for a home.
“The Labour Party’s Save To Buy proposal would also have spread the entrance of first time buyers into the market, as the incentive was spread over a longer time period, and help those who are struggling to save due to high rents.
“Instead we have seen a surge of first time buyers into the market, with the addition of thousands of euro from the Help to Buy scheme which is causing rapid price inflation.
“The failure to speed up delivery of social housing, introduce an affordable rent model, and deliver on rapid build is also exasperating the situation.”