Fast-Track Planning System

The fast-track planning system was introduced in 2017 by the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. The program was aimed at expediting large scale developments and introduced the system for strategic housing development legislation. The fast track planning system is now subject to undergo public review.

The strategic housing scheme allowed fast track decision making for large scale housing schemes. The legislation allowed developers planning to build large scale housing schemes to make their case directly to the An Bord Pleanala. This allowed developers to by pass local authority decision making processes and thus, the planning  process is expedited. With out the fast track planning system, large scale developments would have to be approved by local authorities and then could be appealed to An Bord Pleanala.

The Strategic Housing Development system gave effect to the commitment in Rebuilding Ireland. This commitment is defined as “fast-track” devision making for large scale housing and student accommodation schemes.

According to the rules of the fast track housing planning system, developers building sites with 100 or more housing units or 200 or more student housing units …

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Outlook on the Irish Housing Market

Key issues regarding the stability of the Irish economy seen in the housing market. The key issue of the housing crisis can be defined as growing demand that is not meet by current supply.

Many current government policies are concerned with increasing the volume of supply of completing housing units. For example, Rebuilding Ireland is associated with increasing housing supply to reduce homelessness. However, over the past 3 years supply has increased but housing prices have increased at a rate higher than the increase in supply. Governmental policies focus too much on supplying more volume instead of focusing on the affordability of housing.

According to Goodbody BER Housebulding Tracker, it is estimated that an additional 18,855 new housing units were added in 2018. This estimation is in line with previous forecasts. The majority of new dwelling competitions in 2018 were located in the Greater Dublin Area. More specifically, housing completions in the Greater Dublin Area accounted for 60% of the total new housing schemes in 2018. Although there has been an increase in the supply of housing, many problems in …

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Government Housing Fund is Collecting Dust

The Irish government has allocated a large portion of their budget to address the current housing shortage and crisis that is plaguing Ireland. However, due to red tape and many other impediments, much of the budget has not been used yet and is sitting and collecting dust at the moment. Approximately 8% of the 200 million Euro government housing fund has been spent and many people are not happy about this.

The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) was originally allocated 195 million Euros in 2016. Since then only 16 million has been spent and the majority of the budget has been sitting in an account. One of the major problems hindering efficient construction sites is Ireland’s outdated infrastructure. This fund was created to provide investment in public off-site infrastructure including; roads and water. This would cut down costs and time for delivering properties. This fund was created during the government’s creation of the Rebuilding Ireland policy to tackle homelessness and housing issues.

Infrastructure projects have been approved to begin under the fund, but not many have taken off. 30 …

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Inflation Rates Return to Normal

 

The current housing prices in Dublin have been talked about extensively recently. The newest trend shows that housing prices have reached peak affordability and now some of the wealthy classes of people are having trouble affording homes. Current house prices in Dublin are more than nine times the average salary making them unattainable for the majority of people because mortgages can only be 3.5 times your salary. Additionally, these numbers have not been seen since the Celtic Tiger Era, however, the central bank has been more careful this time and increased borrowing rules unlike during the Celtic Tiger Era. Prices are now beginning to slow down because simply nobody is able to afford them.

Inflation has also cooled off recently with a decrease from 12.4% last May to 2.8% a year later. Dublin has seen a significantly smaller inflation rate with an increase of prices from the current year to May of .6%.

The region of Dublin had the highest median price of 366,000 Euros which is just over 9 times more than its average salary of 40,000 Euros. …

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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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HAP fails to assist

The housing market continues to prove that it is hard to penetrate by people who are eligible for social housing. In order to qualify, you must meet a multitude of standards. The most important of these being that you need housing and cannot provide using your own resources, you have a legal right to remain in the State, you are 18 years of age or older, and lastly your net income must be lower than a calculated threshold based off the structure of your family. 

If you are in the spectrum that allows you to receive social housing, then you are likely to be able to utilize social housing support that is run by the local authorities; this tool is known as HAP and it can be utilized in a multitude of ways. 

HAP went into effect on 1 March 2017 and has been available under local authorities. This program was implemented to allow HAP tenants full-time and still keep their housing support. It also gave rise to a more structured approach at organization by making all social housing supports …

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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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