independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Editorial: Cheap loans for investors will make housing shortage worse

DUBLIN is a monument to largely unplanned growth and now houses one-third of our population. Houses lie idle and half-finished in 'Dublin suburbs' of Wexford, Cavan, Westmeath and elsewhere. But there is a shortage of suitable family homes within a reasonable distance of the capital where house prices are now swiftly rising again.

It is good to see that a government task-force is currently studying ways of reviving the building industry around Dublin in efforts to meet the pressing need for family-type homes. But the other side of the equation is the lack of mortgage lending to help young families buy a home of their own.

This problem is more acute in the greater Dublin area but it is to be found in many other parts of the country. The shameful reality is that prudent young people cannot get a mortgage.

Today our personal finance editor brings us the less than encouraging news that two banks are marketing products geared to fund property investors interested in the buy-to-let sector. This development risks making matters more difficult for those seeking a home of their own.

One of the banks concerned is offering interest-only loans in certain instances – a practice decried in the recent property boom as helping to inflate prices.

So much taxpayers' money has been pumped into saving the banks that it is now high time to demand that the banks address the lack of mortgages being made available for the purchase of family homes.

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