The new president of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland faces issues unheard of just a few short years ago. Housing and skills shortages will be the key areas of focus for the new head of the representative body for property professionals, Andrew Nugent.
A chartered quantity surveyor with more than 25 years’ experience, he says housing shortages in cities are forcing people to buy or rent in commuter belts and this has started to affect Ireland’s international competitiveness as rents continue to increase.
Though new housing is required, high construction costs are deterring their development, Nugent says. “Taxes and levies make up approximately 20 per cent of the cost of a house in Ireland and are acting as a serious brake on development. For example the new Dublin Housing Development Monitor shows that just 1,605 units were commenced across the four Dublin local authorities inQ1. However a minimum of 7,000 new units are needed per year in Dublin up to 2020 and it’s clear we won’t reach that target based on current figures.”
Nugent says he plans to engage with Government to develop policies that will address low building rates.
At least he comes to the party with the wind of a looming election at his back, which might help advance incentives for new building projects. Whether the Government is ready just yet to consider any reduction to those development taxes and levies that were once so lucrative is another question entirely.