Sunday 22 October 2017

Your Budget: 'Fund is positive step for developing houses'

Builder

Dominic Doheny

Dominic Doheny
Dominic Doheny

BUILDER Dominic Doheny is cautiously welcoming the Budget, although he has concerns about the vacant site levy.

"Overall I think it was positive. Much more positive than in recent years," he said.

Mr Doheny (57, above) has been joint managing director of John Flanagan Developments, in Tullamore, Co Offaly, since 1989.

He felt increased spending on infrastructure is "critical" to solving the housing crisis and "ending the boom-bust cycle" in the construction industry.

One element of yesterday's announcement he welcomed was the €750m fund to help finance the construction of housing.

"The home builders' fund is very positive," he said.

"At present it is very difficult to get financing from the pillar banks to fund development, especially outside the regions.

"If it provides funding at commercial market rates that is a very positive development."

However, he was concerned about the vacant site levy, which will double to 7pc after two years, and said that in places outside the city it was still not financially viable to develop on lands.

"You can't get the prices that warrant building, this will compound the problem," he said.

He was also disappointed with the commercial property stamp duty increase from 2pc to 4pc.

"It's 4pc value off the value of your commercial assets," he said.

"If your currently selling these properties, the buyer is going to pack it in," Mr Doheny added.

However, he welcomed increasing infrastructure spending and plans for more social housing.

"We can't solve the housing crisis without bridging the infrastructure deficit evident everywhere in the country," he said.

"If we try to solve housing without addressing infrastructure, we're creating the next generation of challenge facing Irish society."

Irish Independent

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