Fewer can afford homes than ever under Fine Gael, Ó Broin says

Prices have increased by 42% over 10 years, Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman tells Dáil

Speaking to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar , Eoin Ó Broin said: ‘You claim to be the party of homeownership... but under your watch fewer working people than ever can afford to put a roof over their heads.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Speaking to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar , Eoin Ó Broin said: ‘You claim to be the party of homeownership... but under your watch fewer working people than ever can afford to put a roof over their heads.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Fewer working people than ever can afford to put a roof over their heads under Fine Gael’s watch, Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin has said.

The Dublin Mid West TD told the Dáil on Thursday that thanks to the party’s housing policy it is “now more difficult to buy a home than ever before”.

Mr Ó Broin said over the last ten years house prices across the State have increased by 42 per cent, while in Dublin the rise is 88 per cent.

Speaking to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar during leader’s questions, Mr Ó Broin said: “You claim to be the party of homeownership, to represent people who get up early in the morning to go to work, but under your watch fewer working people than ever can afford to put a roof over their heads.”

Mr Ó Broin added that just a handful of affordable homes to buy will be delivered this year and that 8,000 are needed annually.

Mr Varadkar said how future rent and house prices would turn out depends on a number of factors, including the economy, employment and housing policy.

The Fine Gael leader said house prices in Ireland are too high and agreed they are “out of reach for very many people”. He said supply on its own would not bring down house prices, adding that it was encouraging the State was seeing an increase in housing supply, with around 30,000 new homes “gone to construction” in the last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We know from reports that we need to get to around 35,000 or 40,000 additional homes a year for supply to meet demand and it does seem we’re getting there,” he said. “It will be a while before we get there but it does seem we’re getting there.”

Housing report

Mr Ó Broin also highlighted a housing report commissioned by Dublin City Council and featured in the Business Post last weekend, describing the figures as “truly frightening”.

“Average house prices are set to rise every year from now to 2028 to a staggering €575,000; you would need an income of €148,000 to buy a home at that price.

“Even if you availed of the full shared equity loan payment of €90,000, you would still need a household income of 122,000 to afford that,” he said.

“At these prices, the vast majority of people will not be able to buy a home in the capital and the same report says that rents in Dublin will continue to soar by 2028.

“The median rent according to the report could be as high as €2,400 a month. For this to be affordable, you would need a take home pay of over €7,000 a month.”

Mr Varadkar said while he had seen some media coverage of the report, he had not yet read it.