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Only 11.8% of approved Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans drawn down in Q3 2018 – Ó Broin

16 January, 2019 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy to radically overhaul the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme as figures show that of 1,317 loans approved in Q3 of 2018, only 155 have been drawn down, a dismal 11.8%.

The Dublin Mid-West TD also expressed concern that out of 2,583 applications deemed to formally meet the criteria, only half of these were approved.  This shows a worrying gap in the number of people a loan product like this targeted to help in terms of accessing affordable housing.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“In response to a parliamentary question posed to the Minister for Housing, the data showed that of the 1,317 Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans approved by the 31 local authorities across the State by the end of Q3 of 2018, only 155 have actually been drawn down, a dismal 11.8%.

“If you look at the high demand areas across the four Dublin local authorities, Galway, and Cork, the ratio of approvals to draw downs is worrying.

“In Dublin City Council, 189 loans were approved but only 28 had been drawn down by the end of Q3 of 2018.

“In Fingal, 185 have been approved, but only 28 have been drawn down during the same timeframe.

“In South Dublin, 92 loans have been approved with only nine drawn down and in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, the figures are 38 approved with one drawn down.

“Cork County has 104 loan approvals, but only nine drawn down and Galway City has 26 approved, but one drawn down.

“In fact, in five local authority areas, zero loans have been drawn down despite approvals for loans been granted in every one.

“Out of the 155 loans drawn down, the average amount is €186,591 with a total of €28.9m drawn down in the 3rd quarter of 2018.

“The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan clearly is not working as intended. In high demand areas where the loan amount available to borrow is higher, the average amount is €207,000.

“According to figures from the quarterly house price report, the average house price in Dublin is €379,922. 

“There is no point in offering a product to tackle affordability if the loan on offer comes nowhere near to covering the cost of purchasing a home.

“At this stage, the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is a tokenistic gesture that has done very little to provide affordable homes for people.

“This is what Sinn Féin cautioned against when the scheme was launched. We need to do more to bring down the cost of homes, making them truly affordable, instead of expecting low to middle income earners to compete in an inflated housing market.” 

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