CSO HOUSE PRICES – PANDEMIC TO EXACERBATE ACCESS TO HOME OWNERSHIP FOR THOSE ON LOWER INCOMES – BROKERS IRELAND

Tue Jun 23 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Commenting on today’s CSO Residential Property Price Index for April showing a 0.1pc decrease in Dublin and a 1.1pc increase in the rest of the country, Brokers Ireland said it is an ongoing indication of price stability.

However, underneath that stability in prices lays some “shifting sands.”

Rachel McGovern, Director of Financial Services at Brokers Ireland, which represents 1,250 Broker firms, said the Covid-19 impact can be seen in the drop of 34.7pc in the number of dwelling purchases filed with Revenue compared with March.

“What we don’t know yet is the full impact of the pandemic but unfortunately it is likely to hit those in lower income sectors most severely, and it is they who are already experiencing difficulties with affordability.” She said the pandemic is likely to exacerbate an already difficult situation for the lower income cohorts.

Ways must be found to build homes more cheaply and in this regard all hopes will be pinned on the next Government,” she said.  She welcomed the commitment in the Draft Programme for Government to retain and expand the Help-to-Buy scheme.

She said given the level of underlying demand for homes and the fact that there is likely to be a significant decrease in completions this year arising from Covid-19 “while it is difficult to predict it is conceivable that house prices may not drop to the levels anticipated by some.”