Friday 30 September 2016

Construction industry looks to State Housing Bank to solve crisis

Published 13/06/2016 | 07:57

construction industry
construction industry

Business leaders within the construction industry see the establishment of a new State Housing Bank as the preferred solution to the housing crisis, a new survey has shown.

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According to the latest PwC Construction Industry Survey, 44pc of those quizzed see the establishment of the bank as the most popular corrective action. The proposed bank would finance housing by providing affordable mortgages.

The survey also found that almost a quarter of leaders referenced enacting emergency planning, development legislation and mandating the Central Bank to revise its mortgage lending rules as possible solutions to the crisis.

A potential British exit from the EU is also causing uncertainties in the area. Just under half of respondents said that a Brexit would hit their business while a further thrid said they didn't know what impact it would have.

PwC Real Estate Practice senior manager Niall Cogan said ensuring adequate finance to the sector is crucial and that the results of the survey showed this remained a significant challenge.

"Available funding for the sector, whether this is for housing or infrastructure projects, is key to ensuring our economy can continue on its growth path and all options including alternative non-bank finance need to be fully investigated.," he said.

Meanwhile fellow real estate partner Ronan MacNioclais warned the lack of suitable accommodation is starting to impact foreign direct investment and the attraction of key talent to the country.

"With an estimated 25,000 housing units required per annum, the survey finds that the creation of a new State Housing Bank is the most preferred option  to provide housing finance and affordable mortgages."

"While some challenges are showing signs of easing-up, skills shortages, funds and other external factors may hold back growth in the sector in the short-term.  Nevertheless, with multiple cranes beginning to occupy the skyline again, the Irish construction sector can look forward to continued activity in the years to come as it serves the increased housing and infrastructure demand."

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