Concerns Raised That Balance Of Clare Housing Market Is ‘Wrong’

Housing, Mortgages

Concerns are being raised that the balance of Clare’s housing market is wrong, and leading to first time buyers being locked out of the market here.

It comes as the government is coming under increasing pressure to limit the involvement of so-called cuckoo funds in bulk buying homes in housing estates, and to ensure that its Affordable Housing Bill addresses the balance.

The Affordable Housing Bill brought before Cabinet earlier this week examines price caps for local authorities.

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While the figures still have to be finalised with the Central Bank, homes in Clare will have to cost no more than €300,000 under the affordable housing scheme.

It comes as the government comes under increasing pressure to ramp up supply in all forms of the market – though one local expert believes Clare’s overall model is imbalanced and is leading to increasing difficulties for both first and second time buyers who are trying to access the market.

Diarmuid McMahon, of Sherry Fitzgerald McMahon Auctioneers based in Ennis, says a better balance needs to be struck between social housing, private housing and international investment in this county and elsewhere.

Despite increasing public backlash on the involvement of cuckoo funds in the housing market here, one Clare government TD believes the total ban of international investors would be ‘absurd’.

The issue has been to the fore since it emerged that an investment fund purchased all homes in a housing estate near Maynooth – there have not been any known instances of this happening here.

There’s concern that such moves will drive up rental costs further – average rental costs in the Banner are already standing at €940.

Meelick-based Fianna Fail Deputy Cathal Crowe says some level of private investment in the market is needed to ensure adequate supply over the coming years.

Clare FM’s Rebecca O’ Sullivan has this report: