Tuesday 27 September 2016

ESRI puts pressure on Central Bank to ease its mortgage lending rules

Published 16/03/2016 | 02:30

Kieran McQuinn said easing mortgage lending rules could help boost housing supply. Photo: Frank McGrath
Kieran McQuinn said easing mortgage lending rules could help boost housing supply. Photo: Frank McGrath

The ESRI has heaped further pressure on the Central Bank to soften its tough mortgage deposit rules.

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Associate research professor Kieran McQuinn said easing the measures requiring buyers to have a hefty deposit could help boost housing supply.

Central Bank Governor Professor Philip Lane has said the rules would be reviewed later in the year. But Mr Quinn said he believed better transparency around the operation of the rules was required and that a review should take place twice a year.

At the launch of its latest economic commentary, Mr McQuinn reiterated the ESRI's view that the measures should take into consideration supply and demand issues, house prices and credit issues and be set accordingly.

"My own preference would be that you could look at these measures more systematically and possibly twice a year," Mr McQuinn said. "At this point in time ... you probably wouldn't bring in the measures right now. With supply as low as it is and credit levels as low as they were, and even with the house price increases that you had, we still felt that you didn't need to bring those measures in right now. The market wasn't at an overheating stage."

Mr McQuinn said the Central Bank needed to focus on issues such as housing supply in setting the rules.

"The whole point is that we need to focus on supply. Because in the same way that possibly they may have a negative impact on supply now, that could be a positive feature in three or four years' time if you're building too many houses," he said.

Irish Independent

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