Slowing of Building Development

The rate of development in Ireland’s construction sector has slowed to an all time low in June spanning across the last 8 months. Although the rate of expansion is declining, the construction sector remains at a solid growth rate.

The declining growth was caused by the weaker activity in the civil an commercial segments. This contrasts the housebuilding sector that according to the Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index displays signs of constant and strong expansion.

The construction index amounted to 53.1 for the month of June, 2019. This number decreased from May amounting to 54.9. The index defines that any number above 50 indicates expansion in the construction sector. Any readings below 50 indicate contraction.

Simon Barry, Ulster Bank’s chief economist for the Republic of Ireland, claimed that although commercial activity is still expanding, the decline in pace of expansion in June reached the weakest expansion rate in six years. This trend of declining construction expansion rates denotes that the housing crisis is far from being solved. The amount of construction needed to meet demand falls far below current …

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Energy Prices

Consumers have been warned about rising energy prices. Many have been urged to beat immense energy price hikes by switching suppliers. According to new research from the energy regulator shows that house holders who actively switched electricity providers over the last four years have saved more than €1,000.

According to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities, seven electricity suppliers announced that energy prices will rise in the next few months. The average increase in energy costs amounted to 5 percent for electricity and 13 percent for gas according to the commission for regulation and utilities.

Across the last four years, those who choose not to switch their suppliers for both electricity and gas suppliers over the last four years could have saved €1,700. The CRU claimed that savings made through changing electricity and gas suppliers 0r negotiating with a current supplier could have helped customers save on the recent raises in price. The CRU further described switching rates by consumers last year as “robust”. In other words consumers who took the advice to switch providers or negotiate with their current supplier …

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High land prices keeps developers from supplying homes that are demanded

High costs of land is making developers unable to supply homes that are truly needed to solve the housing crisis. According to a leading developer, land prices specifically need to be reduced by 25% to 35% to meet Ireland’s real demand for housing.

The development company, O’Flynn Group is currently developing 1,600  new housing units across 11 sites in Dublin and Cork. O’Flynn Group’s chief executive, Michael Flynn stated that Ireland’s residential construction activity may be nearing a plateau. He reasons his statement because of restricting limits of supplying homes, ranging from mortgage lending limits to skill shortages in construction. Regulation serves as another limiting factor in supplying homes.

According to O’Flynn, the real demand for housing is twice the amount developers are able to deliver. He continues to denote that if artificial restrictions are not limited, and demand for affordable housing is not met than the housing crisis will only continue. Lastly, he noted that more households will be forced into the rental sector with out the hope of saving if the trends previously described continue.

O’Flynn was prompted …

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Vulture funds and Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank has recently created a portfolio of €900 million of problem mortgages for sale. This portfolio includes an immense number in which borrowers had short term forbearance deals with Ulster Bank. Forbearance is a special agreement formed with a lender and borrower to delay a foreclosure. This occurs when mortgage borrowers are unable to repay according to terms and lender may choose to foreclose the property or asset.

Many of the affected borrowers for loan sales were engaged with the bank to secure least short term debt deals. However, Ulster Bank has claims that past customers who engages with the bank to make repayments of loans even on loans in the past are far less likely to see their loan sold to a vulture fund.

Vulture funds are generally private equity firms or a form of financing that is provided by firms to invest in properties that are performing poorly. These poor performance properties are likely to be undervalued and thus the vulture funds take advantage of the underestimated properties.

Private home mortgages on average in the current sale have …

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Housing and the Changing Demographics of Ireland

In order to solve the housing crisis, policy makers must consider changing demographics and plan for long term methods to resolve the housing crisis. According to Engineer’s Ireland review of housing in the The state of Ireland 2019, projections of future Irish population is increasing in number, age and diversity. The population is expected to grow from 2.78 people in 2017 to between 5.6 to 6.7 million people in 2051. The median forecast was defined as approximately 6.2 million people. An additional 1.48 million people must be housed in the next 32 years.

Future demographic projections are essential in forming adequate long term planning in regard to housing in Ireland. Due to the significant projected increase in population size, there is great demand to increase housing supply and plan accordingly.  The current average size of an Irish household is 2.7 people per home. If the average household size remains the same, the number of homes supplied must amount to at least 548,148 additional units by 2051. This amounts to an average of 15,661 additional housing units must supplied each year …

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Review of Housing Costs

Increasing costs of rent are hindering workers from benefiting from increases in wages due to the growth of economy and reaching full employment. The number of people who work are reaching record highs because of the booming economy. However, growth in wages cannot keep up with skyrocketing increases in homes.

The average cost of housing is increasing at a rate twice that of average earnings throughout the country. Rent has increased by 8% in 2018. The average wage increased by just over 3%.

According to the Center Statistics Office, the unemployment rate as of the second of July, 2019  is 4.5%. Although this is a relatively low percentage of unemployment other problems exist such as joblessness, skill shortages and low levels of employed women.

Modest official inflation figures are being questioned by various economists to determine if the figures are truly representative of what is actually occurring as increasing demands for greater pay is contributing to more pressure on workers.

In response to heightening housing prices, there have been many actions for the “living wage” to be heightened by an additional …

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Effects of ending the help-to-buy scheme

The help-to-buy scheme was designed to help first time buyers buy a home. First time buyers are encouraged to buy property through the help-to-buy scheme by refunds of income tax and deposit interest retention tax paid over the last four years. The help-to-buy scheme allows purchasers to claim a rebate  tax already paid of income up to €20,000 depending on the value of the property.

There is a move to end the help-to-buy scheme. This would be detrimental to the housing market. Figures have shown that more than 80% of all first time buyers are relying on the scheme to buy a home.

However, the scheme is scheduled to end at the end of 2019. The government has given no indication of an extension of the help-to-buy scheme.

According to theBanking and Payments Federation, 84% of new property purchases were made by first time buyers with the support of the help to buy scheme. Furthermore, chief economist, Dr Ali Ugur, claimed that the help-to-buy scheme was important for market stability. It was a key component in helping housing supply increase and …

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More families unable to afford homes in Dublin

The Dublin City Councillors agreed to tightly restrict eligibility to qualify for the affordable housing scheme. Thus, fewer families will be able to buy social housing in Dublin.

The Dublin City Council is seeking developers for 400 new homes on three different sites. These homes will be offered for sale to qualifying low and middle income workers. The starting price will be from $116,000. New apartments and homes amounting to 370 new units in Ballyum and Ballyfermont will be the first of several thousand affordable homes in all of Dublin, Fingal and Dun Laoghaire.  The scheme of priority has been approved by councillors by the four local authorities. The scheme determines how prospective buyers will be chosen.

Priority applicants have been defined as those living in the council area for at least 12 month will be the first to chose the newly available homes. The remaining homes will be offered to applicants with children in education in a set distance of the property. Any remaining homes will then be available to those who have a household member with a job …

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Risks to new social divide due to housing crisis

The burdens of the housing crisis continue to have an effect on everyday life. More homes are being built to slowly reach the immense demand for housing. In the month of March of 2019, more home were built than were sold.

Although more homes are being built, houses are still too expensive for an average couple to buy a first time home. Builders and developers are hoards land, and this keeps prices high. According to economist, Richard Curran, Ireland is headed for another crash. Curran believes there is a bubble in the housing market. Rents are rising too high while cuckoo funds are buying up too many apartments which causes first time buyers to be pushed out of the market. Furthermore, supply of housing is increasing but not enough to keep up with growing demands.

The number of homes are increasing, however these homes are not demanded. The homes built this year are too expensive and in inconvenient locations. Housing prices are likely to severely crash just as they did in the past.  There are fewer homes being sold at …

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Falling House Prices in Dublin

According to the Irish Independent, housing prices in Dublin on average are decreasing by just over €1,000 per month. However, property prices in the rest of the state are continuing to rise slowly or remain constant.

Property prices have been determined to have decreased on average of €4,500 in the past quarter of the year. Since the beginning of 2019, property prices in Dublin have fallen by 2.2%. The price of an average home in Dublin is now down to €433,000.

Although the average cost of housing in the capital has decreased, Dublin remains one of the most expensive cities to live in Ireland. On average, properties in the capital cost two to four times more than property in the rest of Ireland. This data was reported from the Irish Independent and the Real Estate Alliance (REA) Average House.

South Dublin has seen the steepest decline in overall average home values. In three months, property prices of South Dublin have fallen by  €6,500. Although progress has been shown in the prices of homes in Dublin, prices are still rising in other counties. Prices of …

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