Schemes and initiatives to help young people get on the property ladder are the most efficient means of delivering and maintaining houses, the director of housing and planning with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has said.
Conor O’Connell, who is also director of the Irish Home Builders Association, told RTÉ radio’s News at One that caps on the Help to Buy scheme and the First Home scheme were a problem in some locations where the cost of delivering housing is higher.
“However, in many locations that is not the case, and they're an essential initiative scheme that delivers affordability and viability for new home buyers,” he said.
“Every generation in Ireland has benefited from some scheme in place that has allowed people to get on the property ladder, which is the most efficient means of delivering and maintaining houses.
“There's no ongoing cost to the State, and they are an essential mechanism to allow our younger people to buy their own homes.”
Challenges facing first time buyers
Mr O’Connell was responding to the findings of a report by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), which highlighted the affordability challenges facing first-time buyers.
The report also found that the greater Dublin area, Galway and Cork are the most expensive regions for buying a new home in the State.
He said the findings of the report were not a surprise.
“We've been talking for a long time now. Over the last two years that we've had an exceptional period of material cost inflation in the construction sector due to various factors that are well documented; supply chain disruption post Covid, the increase in the cost of energy, which has affected the increase in the cost of producing aggregates in particular, as well as insulation, steel and plastic products that make up the construction materials for a new home.
“So all of these costs and, of course, finance as well as a significant cost increase with the rise in interest rates. All of this has impacted on the overall our total delivery costs of constructing and delivering a new unit for sale.”
By Vivienne Clarke
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