Saturday 21 April 2018

Coalition pressure over home loan crisis

Joe Costello
Joe Costello

Paul Melia and John Downing

Fine Gael and Labour Party TDs have increased the pressure on Government ministers to deliver a remedy for families in deep mortgage distress.

The issue of mortgages dominated both weekly meetings of the Government parties as concern grows over the spiralling arrears crisis.

And it came as new data showed Irish house prices are growing at 15 times the rate experienced across the EU.

But there are about 35,000 distressed mortgages that have not been paid for more than two years.

At the Fine Gael meeting, Cork North West TD Áine Collins proposed that councils would buy distressed homes at 20pc below market value.

The local authorities could then rent these properties back to the occupant, allowing them remain in their homes.

In response, Fine Gael TDs and senators were told a "menu of options" is being prepared by senior Government figures aimed at resolving the mortgage crisis.

Meanwhile, Labour backbencher Joe Costello called on ministers to introduce proposals which would see local authorities provide grants to first-time buyers in order to assist them in getting on to the property ladder.

New data shows that Irish house prices rose 16.3pc year-on-year, compared with an average of just 1.1pc across our nearest neighbours.

Figures from Eurostat show the continued upward march of prices fuelled by new mortgage lending rules and a lack of property coming on to the market.


Irish Independent

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