Friday 9 December 2016

Our housing crisis cannot be put on hold

Published 07/06/2016 | 02:30

The housing crisis has to be dealt with in a meaningful way. Teeing things up with a meaningless '100-day deadline' is pointless. (Stock photo)
The housing crisis has to be dealt with in a meaningful way. Teeing things up with a meaningless '100-day deadline' is pointless. (Stock photo)

New Housing Minister Simon Coveney wanted to make a good first impression. Why wouldn't he? After all, you can only do that once. So he and the new Government laid down a marker to come up with a plan to tackle the housing crisis within 100 days. Guess what? They have admitted defeat already. They won't make it because of August.

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That's right, the month of August is the problem. True it is a perennial one, it generally can be relied upon to follow July, and precede September, but the Government hadn't allowed for it, or the fact that not much gets done that month.

So we're going to have to wait for a solution to the housing crisis. This is very bad news indeed, as today we reveal that the average age of a person buying their first home in Ireland has risen to 34. A decade ago most first-time buyers were in their twenties. But it's no great surprise that buyers are getting older. Rents are back at crazy Celtic Tiger levels. Factor in the Central Bank lending restrictions, and it is practically impossible for young people to get the money together to buy a home. According to last year's figures the average mortgage deposit in Dublin increased dramatically from €38,000 to €51,000.

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