There is a huge demand for property the moment – and a corresponding lack of supply.
We are in an artificial pressure cooker situation and until more loans and more houses are made available there will be no relief. The banks and building societies have had their fingers severely burnt and it is unlikely they will ever be let return to their old lending practices – so what is wrong with easing the lending regulations a little more.
Easing credit restrictions may cause property values to increase because suitable houses are so scarce. The obvious answer is to provide more houses. If building houses were profitable there is no doubt that builders would be rushing to supply the demand.
Unfortunately, every aspect of housing development is weighed down with taxation, bureaucracy and the dead hand of government regulation. The government cannot seem to see this and think only of how much tax they can rake off the top.
Our recent budget was a complete disappointment. It did nothing to assist the thousands of people who want to achieve the security of owning their own home. Although recent developments show that the government might just be waking up.
These artificial regulations have skewed the market and as a result, a market for speculators and landlords has emerged which has the potential to lock first-time buyers and younger buyers out of the residential property market forever.
Our T.D.s and civil servants seem to be insulated from these realities. Hopefully, there will be a change of mind-set in the New Year which will restore the market some kind of balance. In the meantime, we live in hope.