Paul Melia: Prices are going through the roof because we simply aren't building enough homes to meet demand
Houses have not become more expensive to buy because of the Help to Buy scheme. The main reason is the lack of supply.
We are producing nothing like the number of homes needed to meet demand, with official figures noting that just under 15,000 were completed last year, when at least 30,000 were needed.
Money is at the heart of the problem. Builders cannot borrow at competitive rates, and it's cheaper to buy second-hand than build in large parts of the country. While Leo Varadkar is clearly fighting for the Fine Gael leadership, his comments about Help to Buy appear designed to undermine his rival, Housing Minister Simon Coveney, rather than present a solution to the problem.