SCSI: Changes to design of apartments may solve housing shortage

by Bregs Blog admin team



The professional body for the property and construction sector says European-style family apartments could be the answer to the Dublin housing shortage.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) has unveiled a 10-point plan to address the national shortage. This includes a new fund for builders, cutting VAT on new homes; and a property tax cut for people who trade their homes for smaller properties. The housing shortage is most acutely felt in Dublin, where the lack of supply has in part to price rises of up to 40% over the past two years.

SCSI spokesperson Simon Stokes says apartments – and not semi-detached homes – could be the answer. The BRegs Blog notes that while  the SCSI 10-point plan calls for a stream-lined planning process it makes no specific reference to the implications of BC(A)R S.I. 9 on construction cost and the programme for the  delivery of housing.

The SCSI ten-point strategy:

  1. Introduce a Builders Finance Fund to support SME builders completing developments
  2. Reduce development contributions for a period of 2 years
  3. Streamline planning process to speed up decisions and reduce delays
  4. Reduce VAT on new home construction from 13.5% to 5% for 2 years
  5. Reduce windfall tax on land from 80% to 33% to bring it in line with Capital Gains Tax
  6. Introduce Vacant Site Levy on sites of strategic importance in a targeted and transparent manner
  7. Encourage NAMA to license developers to build out sites in strategic areas in its portfolio
  8. Introduce a Local Property Tax exemption for people trading- down to smaller units to increase the availability of second hand homes
  9. Introduce a Revolving Infrastructure Fund (RIF) to finance infrastructure provision upfront before development
  10. Greater action needed on reducing the number of mortgages in arrears, particularly in the Buy to Let sector

Ireland’s love affair with property continues unabated in the media as an Irish Times’ Opinion piece by mortgage broker and financial analyst, Karl Deeter, remained on the most read and most commented list for a second day.

Link to RTE audio report with SCSI spokesperson, Simon Stokes:

Link to 10-point strategy document:

Link to Karl Deeter Opinion in the Irish Times: