‘Individual greed’ contributing to rising house prices
Amid calls to reduce house prices, the high cost of property is at least partly caused by “individual greed”.
That’s according to Irish Times Audio Producer Aideen Finnegan after a top Housing Agency boss said people need to accept property values must drop.
Housing Agency Chief Executive Bob Jordan said homeowners must accept the value of their homes will drop if supply increases.
He also encouraged older people to downsize to make larger homes available for younger families.
Ms Finnegan told The Anton Savage Show she doesn’t see either option happening.
“We have this really funny dynamic where we bemoan the housing crisis,” she said.
“But really, you’re pitting society against property owners, people who have properties and people who don’t.
“As soon as you own a property, you want that value to increase so you can make money off it.”
She said individuals and letting agents exist in a system that is “build around the maximum profit you can make”.
“There is an element around the system being set up around driving prices, but there is an individual level of greed,” she said.
Building new houses
Former Labour Party Leader Pat Rabbitte said another major problem preventing a decrease in housing costs is obstacles to construction.
“The planning process is a big obstacle to supply and even though efforts have been made to correct it, it is still immensely slow,” he said.
“There are so many developments in the log jam in An Bord Pleanála.”
He also pointed out that locals often contact TDs to complain about proposed housing developments and seek their support.
“Middle-class resident associations in particular are experts in squeezing the tail of TDs to get them to do what they want,” he said.
“TDs and councillors are in danger of being strung up if they go for a particular housing development.
“How do you get a balance between not trampling the rights of people and ramping up supply?”
In December, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald also advocated for falling house prices, suggesting the average house in Ireland should cost €300,000.
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