Wednesday 22 November 2017

Get housing in order before interest rate hikes strike

As the population grows, we need to start building houses again – but this time in the right places

The lack of house-building is constraining supply
The lack of house-building is constraining supply
Marc Coleman

Marc Coleman

'Are we witnessing another property boom?" That question has been on the lips of many who witnessed the spurt in house prices during the autumn. The answer to their question is 'No'. So far.

Yes, house prices can and should be growing not back to 2007 levels but back to levels prevailing around late 2004. But that process should be steady and managed. And it should result from a combination of a planned increase in bank credit, housing supply and home-buyer purchasing power. And all three of these must be co-ordinated. Or else, in a different way to before, the housing market could once more become a national headache.

To use some folk wisdom, the latest property market data is a case of "in like a lion and out like a lamb". From the lion's roar last autumn, price trends in February sound more like a lamb's bleat: nationally, prices are up by just 0.1 per cent. In Dublin they are down 0.6 per cent.

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