Housing costs - Symptom of a failing system

Housing costs - Symptom of a failing system

Any individual or couple trying to buy a first home knows well what kind of a challenge that represents.

A report published today underlines again how out of kilter housing costs are and how they have become a brake on businesses hoping to expand.

Consultants EY-DKM point out that a couple trying to buy their first home need to earn up to €125,000 and have a deposit of almost €50,000.

In a country where the average wage was €38,871 last year — up 3.3% from 2017 — those figures underline how one of the basic tenets of the social contract has been stretched beyond breaking.

That dysfunction is exacerbated by the opportunity this offers corporate investors to dominate the market and make life-long tenants of people who might otherwise become homeowners.

The report says a three-bed apartment must generate a monthly rent of €3,000 to be viable.

EY-DKM say hard construction costs make up 56% of building outlay but that 30% of the sales price goes to the State in various taxes.

It recommends these rates be reduced though it does not say how Government might make up that lost revenue.

These figures are new but the trend has been consistent for many years suggesting that neither our governments or this society feel obliged to tackle the root causes of this social time bomb, one that ticks for both those who wish to buy a home and those reliant on the State for a home.

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