Chartered Surveyors say the focus has to be on long term planning if costs of new homes are to be driven down
North East Regional Conference hears average purchase price of a new 3 bed semi in Meath is €383K
Friday Oct 6th 2023: The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has said the Government needs to adopt a longer-term planning approach across several budgets if the construction costs of new housing are to be driven down thereby facilitating the supply of more affordable homes.
Addressing SCSI members from the North East Region ahead of Budget ‘24 the SCSI CEO Shirley Coulter said the viability gap which exists between the construction cost and the market price for new home buyers is the key issue which needs to be addressed.
A recent report by the SCSI found the average purchase price of a new 3 bed semi in Meath to be €383,000.
While the SCSI’s research indicated this was affordable for a couple both of whom are on average salaries (€89K in total) and who have the deposit having availed of the Help to Buy relief, it remains out of reach for many young couples in the Meath/Louth/Kildare region.
In her address to over 40 members at the SCSI’s North East Regional Connections Conference which was held at the Knightsbrook Hotel in Trim, CEO Shirley Coulter said increased costs are causing significant uncertainty in the construction sector and in many instances, projects are being paused or cancelled as they are no longer financially viable.
“This is happening at a time when we need to be increasing the number of houses we are building, far in excess of the current targets which the European Commission has said need to be ‘substantially’ revised upwards. We believe the best approach, is to tackle the costs
which are within our control, chiefly soft costs such as development levies, high road closure fees and local authority licensing fees and other duties.”
In her presentation Ms Coulter also outlined the wide range of professional supports which are available to SCSI members throughout the NE region.
The Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien who was attending another conference in the hotel, also visited the SCSI conference. He told delegates that the Government really values the contribution of the SCSI and he thanked Ms Coulter and the team at SCSI for all their work.
Other speakers at the conference included Alan Russell from Meath County Council, Ben Toomey from Uisce Eireann, John Callan from MyHome.ie and Paddy Darmody from the SCSI.