Táinaste Leo Varadkar urged the Central Bank to release its review on mortgage lending regulations as quickly as possible. These regulations were initially put in place to stabilize the system following a financial crash and to prevent any future banking crises. Currently, these regulations broadly limit the total borrowing to 3.5 times an individual’s income, though there are some special cases.
Varadkar also stated that it was critical for there to be a public consultation included in the review so that the people being affected could be heard directly. One of the main problems is that many people have rental prices at €1,800 plus. However, they are not able to get a mortgage that would allow them to pay a lower monthly rate.
The Central Bank announced that it is interested in hearing out the public’s opinion. It also stated that there can be lessons learned from other countries and it will carefully evaluate the tools and regulations in place currently.
Many criticisms have been focused on the skyrocketing rent prices. A report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) demonstrated that over 75 percent of renters who share a living space with others do not think that they will ever own a home.
Back in 2011, the average price to rent across Ireland was €781 per month. Today, these figures have increased significantly to be €1,256, totaling at an additional €6,000 per year. Specifically looking at Dublin, these prices increased from €960 to €1,745 at just under an extra €10,000 yearly.
As of 2011, the average price of a new house in Dublin had been €318,000, but today it has risen to €503,000. These prices have increased by 88 percent across Ireland and 95 percent in Dublin during Fine Gael’s stay in office.
Though Varadkar remained firm on his party’s stance on housing, he did comment that he is in favor of increasing the housing budget. He drew attention to programs the government has enacted to help people buy their first home. One such example is the Help to Buy program that has assisted tens of thousands of residents achieve a deposit that went towards buying a home.
Varadkar continued by discussing his priority in solving the housing crisis, which would entail an increased supply of housing of all kinds. The budget for social housing and housing more broadly is in discussion currently. Though Varadkar states that he wants to raise the housing budget, he also mentioned that there are other demands to be met.
Finn, Christina. “Varadkar Urges Central Bank To Get Mortgage Lending Rules Review Done ‘As Soon As Possible.’” thejournal.ie, 24 June 2021, https://www.thejournal.ie/central-bank-mortgage-lending-rules-varadkar-5476293-Jun2021/.