EVEN AFTER THE IRISH government rolled out yet another plan to improve the prospects for getting on the property ladder, Ireland still lacks an adequate supply of family homes and the Central Bank still uses an unrealistic algorithm that stifles mortgage approvals.
I pass by dozens of unused properties in Clonmel on my way to our university campus. I'm sure there are reasons why small properties in the town are vacant. I just don't understand them.
I also know there are tracts of land that builders bought with the intention of building homes when the financial prospects emerged of getting top selling prices for new homes. I think those tracts that are zoned residential should be hit with a site value tax. But I don't hear any politician advocating that measure because it would mean levying a tax on existing property owners today. And elected politicians are also landlords so they would be paying for more than one property tax.
There needs to be more homes constructed in Ireland. It means homes need to be built all the time to serve the poor, the well-off, my young graduates, and older couples who might be enticed to sell their four bedroom home now that their children have left the nest.
Knowing all this, I can see 2021 is the worst ever time to buy property. Tens of thousands of first-time buyers are caught with reduced options and high payments. For people who are trying to get started as homeowners, new mortgages have little value because there is no supply. What I can see being offered in South Tipperary is of such low quality that many new buyers will have to pay more money than they ever imagined, to live in a place they never really desired, and may be stuck with it through the middle of the century.