Press | 170% rise in home improvements

by Bregs Blog admin team

dzn_Dezeen-archive-residential-extensions

In this article in Waterford Today on Tuesday 18th November a 170% increase in minor residential works is discussed. Quote:

170pc rise in home improvements reported as homeowners invest in renovations and extensions and avail of Government tax incentives…Spending on extensions and conversions remains the highest outlay in the home improvements sector and the number of homeowners opting to source building professionals to work on their properties through Tradesmen.ie increased by a significant 230% in the three year period 2010-2013.

…Financial initiatives such as these, in addition to the Government’s tax incentives, have hugely helped improve construction and employment growth and will continue to benefit consumers and the industry into 2015.

This article would confirm the Central Statics Office (CSO) recent data that the current recovery in the residential sector is based on smaller improvement works rather than new dwellings. However it remains of concern that recent CSO data indicates new home completions are falling in tandem with falling levels of planning applications for dwellings. Even with elevated levels of residential small-works activity, commencement notice levels (registered with the Building Control Management System) are 30% below 2013 levels, a historic low in construction activity.

In a recent Independent article (see here) Minister James Reilly has said :

“Minister Noonan has unveiled innovative measures in Budget 2015 to improve the supply of affordable housing options…The Home Renovation Incentive has been very successful to date… The Incentive is generating employment in the tax compliant construction sector and increasing sales in building supplies, hardware and related…The Government will also work to significantly increase the provision of social housing with a view to providing 10,000 social housing units by 2018.”

For policy makers facing in to housing supply issues and spiraling rents, this small-works upswing may well mask underlying issues associated with housing supply being brought to the market.

Link to Waterford Today article here

Extract:

Huge increase in home renovations and extensions

170pc rise in home improvements reported as homeowners invest in renovations and extensions and avail of Government tax incentives

The number of property owners opting to renovate and extend their homes has increased by almost 170pc since 2010 according to the website http://www.tradesmen.ie. The launch, earlier this year, of the Government’s Home Renovation Tax Scheme has supported economic growth and employment and the website recently celebrated the 100,000th job posted on the site with a value of more than €90 million for tradesmen and the local economy. Spending on extensions and conversions remains the highest outlay in the home improvements sector and the number of homeowners opting to source building professionals to work on their properties through Tradesmen.ie increased by a significant 230% in the three year period 2010-2013.

Last October, the Government announced significant tax incentives for home improvements and this was followed by an announcement by Bank of Ireland of a €75m fund that would provide vital finance for homeowners to avail of the tax breaks. The Bank has now announced a new discounted personal loan at 9% APR, in addition to the offer of a mortgage top-up from 4% APR, giving customers the option of funding home improvements with a discounted personal loan or a low mortgage lending rate over a longer term. The new loan is available on amounts between €5,000 and €65,000 over terms up to 7 years. Financial initiatives such as these, in addition to the Government’s tax incentives, have hugely helped improve construction and employment growth and will continue to benefit consumers and the industry into 2015.

Speaking on the upturn in home improvements, Sarah Ann Hennessy, Branch Manager at Bank of Ireland Waterford says, “Last year Ireland saw home-owners spending amounts from €5,000 and up to €100,000 on home improvements, with more than half of those opting for house extensions. Attic conversions have also increased in popularity, as families grow, with a 78pc increase in homeowners seeking attic conversion finance between 2010 and 2013.

There are a number of incentives out there for home owners to improve their home. For example, the Government Home Renovation Initiative (HRI) which runs until 31 December 2015 gives tax relief amounting to the VAT portion (13.5pc) of a bill for repair, renovation or improvement works carried out by an authorised contractor for amounts between €5,000 and €30,000. This could result in a tax credit of up to €4,050 which is granted after the work is carried out. There are also grants available from Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) for making energy efficient upgrades to your home such as roof and wall insulation, boiler and heating control upgrades and solar panels. According to the SEAI website, since the grants were introduced in 2009 they have paid out nearly 400,000 grants totaling €167m.”

“Our doors are very much open to those interested in financing home improvements and we don’t require customers to have savings to pledge against loans. Our 24-hour promise means customers get a quick turnaround on approvals and we also offer the option of deferring repayments for three months. The combination of Government incentives, SEAI grants and great rates augurs well for the construction industry into 2015”, Sarah Ann concluded.

Other posts of interest:

Ronan Lyons | Regulations pushing up the costs of homes

Dr Rory Hearne | + 168,000 empty houses in the country

Sunday Business Post | Karl Deeter “Building regulations – rules don’t deliver results”

CSO- Dwelling units approved down 16.6% in one year

Want to live in Dublin? | Only the wealthy need apply!

World Bank Report 2015 | Ireland’s poor construction regulations are the biggest drag on our ranking

Gurdgiev: Irish Residential Property Prices: Q3 2014

Residential construction down in 2014 Q1+ Q2: (CSO statistics)

Commencement Notices – Update | 22 October 2014

Construction Recovery- watch this space.

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