Saturday 20 January 2018

Michael Noonan not concerned about hike in Dublin property prices

Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Property prices are up more than 6% over the last year

Colm Kelpie in Brussels

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has said there is no need for concern about the hike in property prices in Dublin.

Ahead of a meeting of Eurozone finance ministers in Brussels, Mr Noonan said the increase in prices was ''quite small'' in proportion to the ''massive drop'' experienced in the sector.

Property prices in Dublin rose by 3.9pc in September, taking the annual increase to 12.2pc, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Mr Noonan said the country was at the early stages of a restoration in the fortunes of the construction and building industry.

''The increase that there is in 2013 is quite small in proportion to the massive drop. There's no need for concern yet,'' he said.

'' We need property prices to be restored. The trigger point is that they should at least reach on the second hand market the cost of building. It's an uneconomic situation if the cost of providing accommodation is higher than what you get on the market for second hand property.''

Eurogroup chair Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the Irish position was ''quite good'' as it leaves the bailout, but said challenges remained in the banking and housing sectors.

The Dutch Finance Minister ruled out the use of Europe's bailout pot, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), in helping to deal with the cost to the banks of loss-making tracker mortgages.

'' No, Ireland's moving out of the programme. You're proposing a new programme. No, I don't think it's necessary,'' he said.

Mr Noonan said today was an important day for Ireland.

''Having been in the bailout for three years, today is the final reporting on the 12th and final review of our programme. I'll have a few things to say to my colleagues,'' he said.

''I'll be thanking them and ill be pointing out that we will continue to follow policies which will grow the economy and create jobs.

''I'll draw their attention to very strong employment figures and very strong revenue figures and the fact that we expect to beat our deficit target for 2013 and are committed to the budget targets for 2014.''

The ministers will be joined by the remaining finance ministers in the European Union for talks on banking union tomorrow.

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