Latest: Construction sector claims house-building costs are too much to counter 'Celtic Tiger queues'

Latest: Construction sector claims house-building costs are too much to counter 'Celtic Tiger queues'
House buyers queue to buy new houses in the Beechwood Heath estate in Hansfield, Dublin 15, yesterday afternoon. Pic: Collins

Update 9.57am: The Construction sector says it is too expensive to build homes at the moment.

Builders are looking for a VAT reduction to make it more cost-effective.

However, auctioneer Pat Davitt says a full audit is needed first to establish the real cost of house building.

Mr Davitt said: "A normal three-bedroom semi, in lots of parts outside of the city, they can be built for probably somewhere in the region of €150,000 to €200,000.

"In lots of other areas, they are from €200,000 to €250,000. There is a huge difference in pricing."

Latest: Construction sector claims house-building costs are too much to counter 'Celtic Tiger queues'

Meanwhile, housing expert Lorcan Sirr has warned that we are only building half the number of homes the Government says we are.

The DIT housing lecturer said we are seeing these kinds of queues because there are “so few housing developments coming on.”

He said last year, “we built between 9,000 and 10,000 houses – not 19,000 houses as you will hear politicians say.”

He said the problem is magnified by the fact that “trading in land is much more profitable and less risky than building houses.”

He warned that things may not be about to change anytime soon:

“Maybe this is it,” he said.

“Maybe this is the housing supply that we are going to have every year from now on.

“Because remember, if you own an awful lot of land, you can turn on the tap and turn off the tap to suit yourself and drip-feed the market with housing to keep the prices where you need them to be.

“So maybe 10,000 houses a year is where we are at.

“In which case, it means that we have a huge gap in the middle for people who want to buy a house between €200,000 and €400,000.”

He said vacant site taxes have proven ineffective at dealing with land hoarding.

"We have a site value tax at 3% this year and 7% next year - when land is going up by 15% every year it doesn't really matter."

"The State itself has enough land.

"It is not just a Dublin issue, I recognise that but the four local authorities in Dublin have enough land between them to solve the homeless crisis.

"They have land for about 28,000 houses.

We have bucket loads of land around the place, we don't need to rely on these guys but the model that we have is to wait for the private sector to deliver housing.

"We can deliver housing ourselves like we used to do for decades - and did very well."

6.56am: 'Govt needs to start building houses themselves' to stop people queuing to buy houses

The Government is being urged to tackle a situation that has left house-hunters queuing for days to secure a home.

The sale of 24 new homes in Dublin 15 led to people sleeping out overnight yesterday, despite it being five days before the houses actually go on the market.

Labour spokesperson Councillor Andrew Montague says the issue is a symptom of the current housing market.

Mr Montague said: "Property dealers need to sit down and the Government's Department of Housing needs to work out some way of dealing with it, but really the fundamental problem is the lack of supply.

"People wouldn't be queuing up for days at a time if there were enough houses being developed and we think that the Government needs to start building houses themselves and not just wait for the private sector to step in."

Yesterday afternoon, estate agents Kelly Walsh arrived at the Hansfield development and handed out tickets to potential buyers in the queue.

Cllr Montague said a fairer system for home buying needs to be put in place until the crisis in supply can be addressed, noting that any new system must be, “to people and not leave them in such an awful situation where they are queuing for days and maybe not even get anything out of it.”

“I think we need to leave that part of the Celtic Tiger behind us and use some fair way of letting people queue for these houses,” he said.

“But really that is only a short-term solution – the long-term solution is to have more houses.”

- Digital Desk


More in this Section

Taoiseach and Finance Minister defend Maria Bailey decisionTaoiseach and Finance Minister defend Maria Bailey decision

Ana Kriegel's teen killers 'are not evil' says former Mountjoy prison governorAna Kriegel's teen killers 'are not evil' says former Mountjoy prison governor

ABP approve plans for 302 apartment complex on Cork’s north docksABP approve plans for 302 apartment complex on Cork’s north docks

Calls for State commemoration of Cork's role in fight for Irish independenceCalls for State commemoration of Cork's role in fight for Irish independence


Lifestyle

The founders of Rixo are on a mission to make the brand more affordable and more wearable, writes Vickie Maye.The dynamic duo behind Rixo aiming to make the brand more affordable and wearable

Want to get away to the sun this Christmas? Ciara McDonnell has all the last-minute deals.Last-minute sunshine getaways for Christmas

A new initiative honours teachers who have inspired their pupils, says Rowena Walsh.Why inspirational teachers stay with you for life

IT’S that time of year again as artists, canvases in tow, start to crisscross county borders across Munster and beyond.Art events to put Christmas gift-hunting in the frame

More From The Irish Examiner