Government urged to drop mortgage program over fears it will drive up prices
The government is under pressure to end its controversial home loan program after the Central Bank warned that it could push up house prices.
Housing minister Darragh O’Brien has been urged to focus on other measures instead of the shared equity agenda, which he has pushed hard despite widespread concerns and criticism.
In a letter to members of the Oireachtas housing committee, the Central Bank warned that the plans, which are part of an affordable housing bill, could cause housing prices to rise and will not do much. thing to resolve supply issues.
The proposal, which O’Brien presented to Cabinet before Christmas, offers equity loans of up to 30% on new homes under € 400,000.
In his letter, Vasileios Madouros, director of financial stability at the Central Bank, said new housing construction was “below its long-term average for about a decade,” and still has not caught up with demand. .
He said that “on the whole, from a broader perspective of the housing market, the proposed program – in isolation – is likely to have a limited impact on the ultimate supply problem in the Irish housing market”.
Mr Madouros advised members of the housing committee reviewing the detailed parameters of the program “to be aware of the potential implications of increased demand for home purchases in a limited supply market” if a shared capital model is introduced.
“If there are structural reasons – such as shortages of skilled labor in the construction industry, tighter land use regulations, or insufficient incentives to guard against land hoarding -” that hamper this supply response, a pattern that results in higher levels of demand, depending on its size, could lead to upward pressure on house prices. “
The central bank’s warning follows criticism from ESRI, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Appraisers and senior officials.
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin called on Mr O’Brien to withdraw the proposed equity-share loan program from his affordable housing bill following the submission of the Central bank.
“In its first full public commentary on the government’s equity loan program, the Central Bank described a series of potential risks to families, banks and the housing system arising from the proposal,” he said.
A spokesperson for Mr O’Brien defended the shared equity proposal, saying: “The program, which will be targeted, limited in time and funding, and subject to regional price caps, will be reviewed after a an, to make sure it is working fine, which is what it was supposed to do. “