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New figures showing surge in house prices welcomed by the Government

It is hoped that the increased demand will bring further resurgence to the construction industry.

Image: house prices via shutterstock

THE GOVERNMENT HAS welcomed today’s property price index figures from the CSO.

The new figures show a 14.9% increase in house prices to the end of August with a 2% increase in house prices last month.

Minister for Housing, Planning and the Construction 2020 Strategy Paudie Coffey welcomed the new increases with the hope that it will lead to a resurgence in the construction industry.

It was noted by the Government that there has been a growth of 10,000 people employed in the construction sector over the past 12 months and that in the year prior to June 2014 there was an increase of 10% on the amount of construction spending.

The Government has said that a healthy construction sector should be able to sustain around 12% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Today’s new house pricing figures shows rapid inflation has taken hold primarily in the capital. In Dublin prices have gone up 24.7%, compared with 5.8% throughout the rest of the country.

A substantial increase in the number of housing transactions taking place compared to last year has also been seen. The number of transactions increased 48% from the 2013 figures.

This mean that there were 15,688 transactions in the first half of 2014. This constitutes around 0.8% of Ireland’s total housing stock with each house being sold on average once every 64 years.

Property Industry Ireland (PII), who are an affiliate of Ibec, warned today that the further increase in house prices will continue to drive up rents and pressurise the social housing sector. The group proposes the lifting of tax restrictions on new building projects.

In a statement to the Oireachtas Environment Committee yesterday, Director of the PII Peter Stafford, said:

Improving supply to the market will calm the market and will provide security to those who own houses and confidence to those who wish to own houses. It is the easiest way of controlling rents.

Older persons charity ALONE has criticised the Government for deficient measures in tackling the housing crisis and the impact it has on older people. Speaking about Government plans to build 6,000 new houses, CEO of ALONE Sean Moynihan, said:

Older people are not and will never be attractive to private renters and it is the responsibility of local councils to ensure that they are providing suitable housing for all demographics, not just families.

Read: The government still thinks it can end long term homelessness by 2016

Also: If you’re being asked to pay more rent you’re certainly not the only one

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