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Government policies contributing to house price increases

4 August, 2005

Sinn  Féin Housing spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has slammed the failure of
the  Government  to take any action whatsoever since taking power to tackle
house price increases.  He also demanded the end of policies and incentives
that  were  contributing  to  the  pricing  of first time buyers out of the
housing market.

Speaking  today he said, “The news in today’s papers that first time buyers
are  being  priced  out  of Dublin comes as no surprise to Dubliners. For a
number of years now young Dubliners have been forced out of the communities
they  have  grown  up  in  to  find  houses  they can afford outside of the
capital.  They  have  been  forced  onto the ever-growing commuter belts in
Louth,  Meath and Kildare to the north and west and as far south as Wexford
and  Waterford.  This has serious social consequences and is detrimental to
communities across Dublin.

“The  fact that house prices in the capital have risen by almost 300% since
1996  and  the number of households on the national housing list has almost
doubled  in  that  time  can  only  be  attributed  to  the  failure of the
Government  to  make  any  serious  attempt  to resolve the problem of ever
increasing  house  prices.  Though the percentage increases may have slowed
down,  we  are  still  seeing  huge  increases  in monetary terms which far
outstrip  increases  in  salaries  and wages.  The advent of 100% mortgages
will  do  nothing  to  help  this  situation  –  rather  it will facilitate
dangerous  over borrowing which could have drastic consequences for economy
as a whole if the house price bubble bursts.

“Why  is  the Government doing nothing to tackle the root causes of housing
affordability problems?  Why do we still have Section 23 tax relief when it
is  contributing to house price increases and making it near impossible for
first  time buyers to secure housing as they have to compete with investors
–  this  is  particularly  relevant  to apartments in the Dublin City area?
Every  day  the  Government stalls on the abolition of these relief’s house
prices  are  pushed  up  and  beyond  the  reach  of  ordinary Dubliners in
particular.   The  Minister  of  state with responsibility for Housing Noel
Ahern  T.D. is still twiddling his thumbs denying the existence of a crisis
that is affecting a large proportion of the population.” ENDS

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