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Rising house prices highlight need for council led affordable housing – Ó Broin

30 June, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the findings of the latest House Price Report, stating the continuing rise in house prices highlights the need for the government to fund council-led affordable housing.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The House price report states that the average house list price across the state during the second quarter 2017 was €240,000. This 11.7% higher than the same time in 2016 with house price inflation in Dublin is 12.3% in the year to June.

“Here, we have another report confirming that the cost of buying a home is increasingly unaffordable for many. The government has sat on its hands and has been reluctant to tackle the issue of affordability. In fact, the report indicates that government policies have contributed to the rising costs with the loosening of the central bank rules and the ill-conceived help to buy scheme.

 “We know from a figures contained in response to a parliamentary question I received this week that the average all in cost for local authorities to construct a home is €191,857. This varies depending on size and location. This is €139,000 cheaper than the estimated cost of building a home for the private sector according to figures provided in a study on the matter published by the Society of Chartered Surveyors last summer.

“Local authorities should be provided with the funding to build these homes and sell them or rent them under and affordable rental scheme to people who are under a certain income threshold. The money recouped from the sale or rental of these affordable homes should be recycled back into the local authorities housing programme.

“Separate to this, I have stated before that the Minister for Housing urgently needs to ensure that affordability is addressed for the thousands of new homes planned on sites that will receive tax-payer funded infrastructure via LIHAF. It is not acceptable that there may not be any affordability criteria attached to these projects when taxpayer’s money is being used to unlock the sites.

“We also the need the Departments of Housing and Finance to fast-track the ongoing study on construction costs. One of the central recommendations of the cross-party Dáil Housing and Homeless Committee last June was that annual audit of all of the costs involved in constructing a house should be conducted. It is disappointing that this recommendation was not adopted at the time however we welcome that a study is now underway albeit 12 months later.

“We urgently need to find out why developers are not building at a faster rate. What is clear is that the government is not acting with enough urgency on this issue.  With the report indicating that house prices are set to continue to rise, Minister Murphy needs to step up to the plate and tackle the affordability issue.” ENDS

Note: Please see PQ and response on Local Authority housing construction costs below


DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy)
by Deputy Eoin Ó Broin
for WRITTEN ANSWER on 20/06/2017  

 To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning; Community and Local Government the average cost of one, two, three and four bed local authority new build units on the basis of costings submitted to his department by local authorities over the past 12 months; if he will provide a breakdown of all in costs and construction only costs; and the itemised costed list of the individual non construction costs for each unit size.


The following are the average costs for the range of differently sized social housing units as sought by the Deputy, in terms of both construction costs and ‘all-in’ costs.  These are based on the analysis of returned data from tendered social housing schemes over an extended period. Construction cost is reflective of building costs (including VAT) and also includes normal site works and site development. All-in cost includes cost of construction, land cost, professional fees, utility connections, site investigations/surveys, archaeology where appropriate, VAT and contribution to public art.  Abnormal costs are excluded from these figures.

Average cost of one, two, three and four bed local authority new build units

My Department will continue to maintain a clear focus on delivering overall value for money on both the construction and all-in costs of social housing projects.

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