Reaction to Budget 2021

October 13, 2020
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Reaction to Budget 2021

Ivan Gaine, Sherry FitzGerald Group

 Tuesday, October 13, 2020

 

Sherry FitzGerald welcomed the broad thrust of the housing related measures introduced today in Budget 2021, specifically the retention of the expanded Help to Buy scheme and the increased capital expenditure on social housing. However, the paucity of detail and modest target of 2,000 ‘affordable homes’ on public and private lands was disappointing.  The specific announcement of the Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme for first time buyers was also welcomed, but clarity on how this will operate is urgently required.

According to Ivan Gaine, MD, Sherry FitzGerald New Homes; “Today’s announcement is to be welcomed for its unique multi-faceted response to the housing crisis.  Specifically, the extension of the expanded Help to Buy scheme to end 2021 is a positive measure, however, the limited time frame of the extension is perhaps a missed opportunity, as a longer term would have provided greater reassurance to buyers and indeed suppliers.”

To date, the scheme has assisted over 20,000 first-time buyers across the country in building or buying a new home and incentivised the construction industry, leading to increased supply.   On a further positive note, the announcement by the Government to increase the capital expenditure on social housing, is laudable, with an additional allocation of €500m for the delivery of 9,500 social units.

In conclusion Mr. Gaine said “Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the housing market was suffering a chronic mismatch between supply and demand. This crisis has been exacerbated further by the fallout of the pandemic. New home completions for this year are projected to be less than half the annual requirements. We urgently need to continue on the journey to revitalise our now dormant cities, making them living environments, providing much needed affordable accommodation for our younger people.”