Help-to-Buy scheme must be immediately suspended – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has again called for the Help-to-Buy scheme to be immediately suspended. He has accused Minister for Housing Simon Coveney of ignoring an increasing body of evidence that indicates that the scheme is adding to increases in the price of a house.
The Dublin Mid-West TD reiterated this call after CSO figures released this week demonstrate that residential property prices rose across the state by 10.7% in the year to February.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The latest figures from the CSO show that residential property prices are rising at the fastest rate since May 2015. This unsustainable rise in prices is not just limited to the capital, with potential homeowners facing house price increases of 19.8% in the West of the state. It is now obvious that the ill-conceived Help-to-Buy scheme is fuelling these increases.
“Sinn Féin voiced its opposition to the Help-to-Buy Scheme when it was launched last year. At the time, I called on Minister Coveney to publish any research his Department has that convinced him that this scheme was a good idea, which the Minister has failed to do.
“Earlier this month, Governor of the Central Bank Philip Lane was of the view that this scheme was adding to house price inflation. Davy stockbrokers also said that the Help-to-Buy scheme would add to momentum in house prices in 2017. This coupled with the new CSO statistics should confirm to Minister Coveney what Sinn Féin has being saying from the start. How much more evidence does the Minister need to tell him that this scheme is not fit for purpose?
“This scheme needs to be immediately suspended to allow for a full review. The schemes existence is driving the price of housing to unaffordable levels for the average homebuyer.”