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SCSI welcomes extension of Help to Buy

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has welcomed the Government’s decision to extend the Help to Buy scheme to the end of 2022.

The SCSI said the move would give some certainty in the short term at least to first time buyers and house builders.  It also said it looked forward to playing an active role in the review of the scheme which Minister O’Donohoe announced as part of Budget 2022.

SCSI President TJ Cronin said that while the Budget has a lot of headline grabbing figures, delivering on the stated targets will be key, especially with regard to new housing construction and the retrofit programme.

“Some of these figures were announced previously but a lot more detail will be required on proposed measures such as the Zoned Land Tax. The impact of measures that potentially challenge the viability of construction must be carefully considered while planning issues which delay the development of zoned land must be addressed. There is a severe lack of data on land  and that’s why we called in our pre-budget submission for the establishment of a Land Register, which would fulfil a similar role to that of the Residential Property Price Register.”

“We believe the rental sector requires a lot more support and the measures announced in the Budget in relation to pre-letting expenses are frankly underwhelming. Private landlords are continuing to leave the rental market and that is contributing to the current chronic shortage of rental accommodation.”

“Ambitious targets have been set for housing – and for the retrofit programme – but we would have concerns that more needs to be done to address the many barriers which exist to achieving these targets. While we welcome the ringfenced budget of €1.6bn for Irish Water – something which we had been calling for as it is essential for housing delivery – additional urgent measures are needed to address planning delays, procurement issues, the rising costs of construction, as well as labour and skills shortages” he said.