Housing Industry Experts Share Key Insights at Today's ByrneWallace LLP Housing Convention 2022Thursday, 22 September 2022
Housing industry experts don’t expect a reprieve from the key pressure of inflation for at least another two years.
A survey of key housing industry experts conducted by ByrneWallace LLP, in association with Property Industry Ireland, in advance of their Housing Convention 2022 hosted today in The Alex Hotel in Dublin, has revealed that construction cost inflation (83%) alongside planning permission and judicial review timelines (76%) are deemed the two biggest challenges facing the sector. The challenge of access to funding is also expected to be an ongoing issue with 72% of those surveyed agreeing that, in response to the announcement in 2022 of two banks departing the Irish market, either a State bank should be established or barriers that restrict other major banks from entering the Irish market should be removed. The Convention addressed the need for greater capital investment in the housing market from a variety of sources. The survey found that 76% agreed that private residential landlords need greater supports to reduce their exit from the market. 69% agreed that a more tailored solution is needed to restrict bulk buyers of housing and that the current blanket penal rate of stamp duty for all bulk housing purchases has the effect of reducing housing supply.
The survey also found that 90% of experts agree Ireland’s transport policy should be geared more towards public transport hubs serving strategic residential development zones, rather than suburban spread and car-dependent commuter towns. Furthermore, in the context of concerns about increased regulatory burdens increasing construction costs and contributing to delay in new homes delivery, 61% of those surveyed believe that local authorities should have greater discretion on building regulations compliance approval.
The Housing Convention brought together key industry leaders and expert representatives from both private and public sectors, traditional and alternative lenders, investors and developers, creating an opportunity for debate and discussion on how supply and demand are impacting the Irish residential property market, the types of funding required to meet current demand, in addition to funding options available to overcome the current housing market crisis.
Guest speakers included An Tanáiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D., Ivan Gaine, Chair, PII, and Dermot O'Leary, Chief Economist, Goodbody.
Michael Walsh, Chair of the ByrneWallace LLP Property Group, commented: “Our industry survey demonstrates the clear need for reform to support the sector. Over half of respondents (51%) believe that although we are experiencing a 'moment in time' storm in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Covid-19 lockdowns, exiting banks, decreased labour availability, commodity inflation and interest rate rises, these pressures will not ease within the next two years. So, today’s Housing Convention is an opportunity to bring the leading experts from across the public and private sector together into one room to identify and debate the solutions needed to overcome the challenges facing the industry. With the benefit of the key solutions identified at the Convention, we will submit key observations and recommendations to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.”
In addition to keynote speakers, the Convention also featured three interactive panel discussions focused on funding models for both private and social housing, the supply of large scale housing, including deal structures such as forward funds and sales, and areas of tension in this sphere, and regeneration as a template for new housing delivery. With panellists experienced in both domestic and international markets, the Convention identified the real issues affecting housing delivery and sought to achieve a consensus on pathways forward.