Budget 2017: Housing agencies respond to measures

11/10/2016 Irish Times

Groups welcome €1.2bn funding but divided over effectiveness of help-to-buy scheme

Construction Industry Federation: The federation (CIF) has described measures introduced in the budget as a “significant step towards solving the housing crisis”.

CIF director general Tom Parlon said the critical problem has been the lack of supply in new builds. He welcomed the introduction of a tax rebate scheme aimed at helping first-time buyers to save deposits for starter homes.

The CIF also welcomes the extension of the Home Renovation Incentive scheme which it described as a “highly successful scheme for those seeking to increase their house size and to upgrade their homes”.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI): The society said the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme announced in Budget 2017 will have very little impact on the housing crisis because supply is the problem, not demand.

SCSI president Claire Solon said the Government should have focused on supply measures as they would have a greater impact on the crisis, help stabilise house prices and offer a better return to the taxpayer.

She added: “In our view, the Government should have been focusing on initiatives to make development viable, like reducing VAT on affordable housing, making public land available for affordable housing schemes and providing finance to help kick-start building on sites around the country, with all the employment and tax benefits that this would bring.”

Property Industry Ireland: The Ibec group for businesses working in the property sector, welcomed the housing measures.

PII chairman Tom Phillips said the “Help-to-Buy” scheme for first-time buyers should encourage the building of new homes.

PII director Dr David Duffy welcomed the attractiveness for landlords of the private-rented sector.

He added: “The continued commitment to the delivery of social housing is welcome. PII looks forward to engaging with Government on implementing the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan.”

The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers: The institute said the help-to-buy measures in the budget should stimulate supply boosting confidence among builders and developers.