CIF is calling for an extension of the Help to Buy scheme as a top priority in their recent Pre-Budget 2020 Submission. Many housebuilders have reported that between 40% and 80% of homes sold to first time buyers are currently enabled by the Help to Buy Scheme. The measure is considered the most effective intervention by Government by Irish housebuilders in terms of enabling housing supply.
Tom Parlon, CIF Director General, said: “Housing completions are increasing on average 35% year on year between 2014-2018 expanding from 5,500 to 18,000 annual output in that period. The Help to Buy scheme has had a huge impact in driving this growth in annual output. Before the measure was introduced, young people are excluded from purchasing a home and were forced to rent, live at home and apply for social housing.
“Currently, the Central Bank guidelines make it impossible for the average couple to secure mortgages. We’re proposing a shared equity scheme whereby the Government take a small stake in newly built houses to reduce the level of deposit required to secure a mortgage. We’re looking for other sensible and sustainable measures such as recognising rent history as proof of ability to repay mortgages.
“There are myriad issues delaying the delivery of housing across Ireland. For example, statutory planning densities mandating extensive apartment building in rural and regional towns make it impossible to secure development finance for homebuilders to build housing. Allowing homebuilders to respond to changing consumer demands would enable them to secure finance and deliver housing developments that meet planning densities, regulations and standards.
“Delivering infrastructure more efficiently is also part of the solution to Ireland’s housing crisis. However, our public sector procurement system is wholly inadequate in terms of delivering strategic infrastructure. Improving this system is the most significant step the Government could take in reducing project delays and cost overruns. Infrastructure delivery is key to the success of Project Ireland 2040. Unfortunately, large scale projects, particularly outside the GDA, are delayed or stalled at a time when our regions are slipping back and facing a rough Brexit.”
Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine