Saturday 10 December 2016

There is a real danger housing sector will build for needs of 2006

Conor Skehan

Published 08/08/2015 | 02:30

There is growing evidence that buying, building and borrowing are all resuming as the improving economy increases confidence. But are we doomed to make the same mistakes?
There is growing evidence that buying, building and borrowing are all resuming as the improving economy increases confidence. But are we doomed to make the same mistakes?

For older readers, there may have been a déjà vu quality to recent housing headlines. Shortages of supply, increasing rents and prices, the words 'housing' and 'crisis' used in the same headline. Calls for more building, more supports, less rules and red tape.

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We heard it all around the year 2000. That was when we started to make it easier for buyers and builders. That was when we all stopped thinking and started dreaming.

How mad were we really back then? Well, by 2006 we were building over 88,000 houses every year. By 2018 we will have over 470,000 more people than we did in 2006. And now the Housing Agency estimates that we will only need an additional 80,000 houses to meet all our needs for the next four years. That's how mad we were back then.

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