Dublin is now the most expensive city in Europe in which to build

Breaking the cartel on development land is the key to tackling sky-rocketing house prices, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.

“According to the CSO, house prices rose by 6.9pc in June – the fastest level of growth in two and a half years. Meanwhile, a report from property consultants Turner and Townsend has revealed that Dublin is now the most expensive city in Europe in which to build. Yet, when it comes to building materials and the cost of construction labour, Ireland is no more expensive than comparable European countries.

“The key to addressing skyrocketing house prices is tackling the cost, and supply, of development land. A 2020 European Commission report on Housing Affordability in Ireland identified the concentration of development land, in the hands of a small number of large developers and investment funds, as a key factor in reducing competition and fuelling inflation.

“This cartel of large developers and funds, which have squeezed out smaller builders, must be broken. We cannot allow a small number of developers to continue to monopolise the control of development land and drip feed the supply of much-needed housing into an overheating market.

“It has been reported that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien will include a taxation measure, to capture a portion of rezoned land value increases, in his Housing For All strategy. This will not go far enough. The State needs to take an assertive role and use Compulsory Purchase Orders to ensure a consistent supply of land at affordable prices for housing, as originally proposed in the Kenny Report of 1973.

“There must also be a renewed focus on increasing our pool of skilled construction workers and apprenticeships, especially in wet-trades, and increasing productivity, by accelerating the use of modern and sustainable building technologies.”

13 August, 2021


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