There are many success stories of people using the money they saved during the pandemic to put a deposit on properties, but despite this, the housing market in Ireland is bleaker than ever. Due to inefficiency in increasing the housing supply and the lack of construction over the last year due to covid restrictions, demand now far outweighs supply.
Over the last few weeks, housing has been back in the news and under the microscope with the publication of Central Statistic Office housing statistics, the passing of the Affordable Housing Bill, and outrage over a private investor buying up an entire housing estate in Kildare.
With the publishing of these results by the CSO, the Taoiseach Michael Martin came under pressure and criticism from opposition politicians in the Dail on Wednesday 12th May.
Social Democrats’ co-leader Catherine Murphy told the Taoiseach that
not only do we have a supply side crisis, we have an affordability crisis
Although the housing crisis has been exacerbated by the pandemic, the problem had been growing exponentially pre-covid. Housing supply has been dwindling for years.. To put it in perspective, housing stock increased by only 0.4% between 2011 and 2016, compared with 12.7% between 2006-2011.
The Affordable Housing Bill is the first scheme of state-built affordable housing in over a decade. It includes caps on house prices, allocating 10% of new housing developments to social housing and 10% to affordable housing. In addition to this, the bill proposes cost rental housing, which means that the rent is used to cover the cost of constructing the building (rather than for-profit as most properties currently operate).
There has been backlash regarding the bill as some politicians believe that it does not take the rising prices of building materials into account.
Regardless of how this issue will be dealt with all parties seem to agree on its urgency. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) weighed in early this week criticising the government’s response to the housing crisis.
Here are some of the most shocking statistics: