Saturday 21 September 2019

€108,000 a year in wages and €42,000 in savings to buy an 'affordable' home

Eilis Ryan: Pricing excludes the 'majority of Dublin households'. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Eilis Ryan: Pricing excludes the 'majority of Dublin households'. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Individuals or couples will have to earn at least €108,000 a year and have savings of €42,000 to buy a category of "affordable" homes in the O'Devaney Gardens redevelopment in Dublin.

The Dublin City Council's definition of what constitutes an "affordable" property at the site has been criticised by local representatives.

Council deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny has insisted the publicly owned land was not being "given away" to private developer and preferred bidder Bartra Capital, the firm behind the controversial proposed co-living facility in Dún Laoghaire.

At the top end of the "affordable" scale in O'Devaney Gardens, a three-bed apartment will cost €420,000 and this includes a discount of up to 40pc on what is considered market value.

Central Bank lending rules mean a first-time buyer can only borrow 3.5 times their salary and must have at least a 10pc deposit. CSO figures show that only 14.1pc of all households have an income of more than €100,000.

The cheapest affordable properties at the site, two-bed houses, will still cost at least €270,000, meaning a household will have to earn almost €70,000 a year to buy one.

Public representative Eilis Ryan criticised the pricing, saying it excluded "the overwhelming majority of Dublin households".

"Meanwhile, the unsubsidised housing will be some 40pc more expensive, putting it out of the reach of all but the elite and landlords. This is an atrocious waste of public land and money," she added.

"The rationale here is that increasing supply will drive down house prices elsewhere, but we saw repeatedly during the Celtic Tiger that house prices escalated even during times of over-supply."

However, Dublin City Council defended the pricing, saying in a statement: "Even at €420,000 it will represent a very significant discount in comparison to market prices.

"Affordability is very much dependent on what people can afford to buy from their own resources. Some people may be in a position to contribute a significant deposit; others may not."

It said it was giving a "price range but in the months ahead we will be in a position to clarify such prices further".

Irish Independent

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