Sunday 26 February 2017

Previously neutered buyers will be galvanised to end 10-year homes drought

Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

In times past first-time buyer grants were unfair to secondhand
property owners and unjustified in a heated market, but right now, in the worst housing crisis seen in a generation, we need to throw
the kitchen sink at getting new homes built in numbers. Photo: PA
In times past first-time buyer grants were unfair to secondhand property owners and unjustified in a heated market, but right now, in the worst housing crisis seen in a generation, we need to throw the kitchen sink at getting new homes built in numbers. Photo: PA

Our housing crisis has been caused by a combination of expanding population, a shortage of homes - thanks to a decade long famine in new builds - and a neutering of the purchasing ability of younger people.

The latter has occurred through voluntary scaling back on lending on the part of more cautious banks and through enforced lending curtailment driven by the Central Bank's regulations on mortgage lending introduced two years ago.

The shortage of new homes and the inability of buyers to purchase them are inextricably linked. Builders won't build unless there are buyers. And the housing crisis won't end unless there are many more new homes constructed.

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