The Cork-based estate agent says ‘long-term strategic vision, not short-term reactionary measures’ are needed
The new president of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has backed a recommendation from the ESRI that Ireland should borrow an additional €4bn to €7bn a year – a substantial part of which should be invested in housing.
TJ Cronin, a Cork-based estate agent, told the SCSI’s annual general meeting that the supply situation had deteriorated dramatically due to Covid, and said extraordinary measures were required to deal with the crisis.
“The SCSI has been calling for a major government-funded house-building programme, involving both the private and public sectors for some time.
"Even at the pre-Covid rate of output – circa 20,000 units – we forecast that supply and demand would not be in equilibrium until 2031.
"Unless drastic action is taken, tens of thousands of people hoping to buy an affordable home will face another decade of despair.”
In a recent report the ESRI said the Government should consider doubling its current investment in housing, from €2bn to €4bn, which could deliver 18,000 units a year.
Mr Cronin said the three areas which need to be addressed are access to zoned and serviced development land, the supply of affordable and viable housing stock, and the availability of competitively priced mortgages for buyers and finance for builders.
“Estate agents all over the country are seeing first-hand the effects of the chronic shortage of property. The current situation isn’t sustainable, and if the ESRI believes the State can manage the extra borrowing, surely now is the time to act. What we need now is long-term strategic vision, not short-term reactionary measures,” Mr Cronin said.
In his online address to members, he said implementing the SCSI’s new strategic plan, ‘Road Map 2024’, would be a key priority, as would encouraging members to adopt sustainable practices.
He praised his predecessor Micheál Mahon for leading the SCSI through an extremely challenging period and thanked him for agreeing to stay on as chair of the Construction Industry Council.
Mr Cronin who is residential manager at Irish & European, a Cork-based estate agent, is also a registered valuer. A previous chair of the southern region of the SCSI, the 45-year-old has been an active member of the SCSI for 10 years.