As any property professional or seasoned observer of the property sector will tell you, the regular reports of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) are a valuable resource when it comes to understanding the dynamics of the market.
In its latest annual residential property review and outlook for instance, the SCSI’s survey of its membership forecasts price rises of 2 per cent nationally in 2020, and a slightly higher increase of 3 per cent for properties in Munster and the Connacht/Ulster regions.
It also highlights the problems being caused by the ongoing lack of supply of affordable homes, especially in the €200,000 to €300,000 range across the country; the continued flow of individual investors from the rental market, and the shocking delays those buying and selling homes are experiencing as a consequence of the continuing reliance on paper-based conveyancing. According to the report’s findings, the average time for a home sale is now close to five and a half months – a situation that its members are not happy about.
But while the SCSI takes the opportunity in its review to warn the various political parties in advance of this Saturday’s election not to jeopardise the property market’s “fragile recovery” through “ill-advised interventions”, it has, in recent days, issued a more pointed note to its membership in relation to the matter.
Commenting on the promises now being made by the politicians, the SCSI says: “An adequate supply of affordable, sustainable and accessible homes should rightly be the aim of every political party; however, we caution against un-costed, ineffective and unfeasible proposals that may jeopardise the fragile recovery the sector has achieved.”
Referring to the election campaign’s “largely singular focus on headline figures of house builds”, the SCSI tells its members that the incoming government must address how construction and delivery costs can be reduced to improve affordability for purchasers. It also asks who is going to build the 35,000 homes needed annually, given the acute skills shortages identified in the SCSI’s Construction Market Monitor 2019 report.
For “members’ convenience” and, indeed, “in order to help inform your vote” the SCSI attached a summary of a number of the main political parties’ election manifestos on housing, sustainability and regional rejuvenation.
With polling due to take place this Saturday, there should be plenty for the surveyors to talk about at the SCSI’s annual dinner next Thursday night, which is a sellout with 1,300 expected to attend. The event which takes place at the Clayton Hotel on the Burlington Road is set to be hosted by the hugely-popular comedian and presenter of the BBC’s Mock the Week, Dara O’Briain.