Ask the experts: Do you think any specific Government policies introduced during 2017 will impact on the housing crisis in 2018? If so, explain which one(s), how and to what degree?
I believe the builders' fund of €750m announced in October's Budget will positively impact the market - provided it's given to small builders at low interest rates. The Government needs to understand when there is a crisis of this magnitude, more dramatic measures are needed. Policy makers fear doing anything that is perceived to assist builders/developers but that is what's needed.
Pat Davitt is the CEO of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV). He has more than 35 years’ experience in the sector, spending much of it running a family-based auctioneering firm in Mullingar.
The decision to build social housing directly will have the greatest impact in solving the housing crisis. More social housing will have the added advantage of freeing up rental properties. Also, the recent announcement to provide direct funding to builders also should assist construction numbers, but the details are still scant on its implementation.
Keith Lowe is CEO of Douglas Newman Good (DNG), a national estate agency network which has 75 branches throughout the country, including franchises. He has 33 years’ experience in the sector, having joined the firm in 1984.
I think the most influential policy changes were those of late 2016, namely the Help to Buy scheme and the relaxation of the macroprudential policy rules. We have a notable uplift in starter homes under construction, and mortgage activity has been enhanced.
Michael Grehan is MD of the Sherry FitzGerald estate agency group, which has a 66-branch-strong network, including franchises. He has more than 28 years’ experience in the property sector.
The Help to Buy scheme has certainly had some impact in the new homes sector, along with the reduction of the 20pc deposit requirement to 10pc for FTBs.
Darina Collins is a director and founding member of the Real Estate Alliance (REA), a partnership of more than 50 estate agency firms nationwide. She is also a partner in REA O’Brien Collins, the Drogheda-based estate agency.
In 2012, the Government introduced a full CGT exemption on the sale of property held for seven years from the date of purchase. This holding period was reduced to four years in Budget 2018, creating a three-year window in which qualifying assets can be sold and still benefit from the full exemption. The aim is to bring more development land to the market now.
Áine Myler is the director general of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI). She holds a master’s degree in planning and development economics, and has worked in estate agency for 26 years and in later years as a consultant.