7 Feb 2019, 21.56

The Joint Committee on Housing, Planning & Local Government examined the unique situation of Brexit, the variables and how demographics influence house prices and any changes to population which could have a resultant effect on house prices and/or rent.

The Committee has detailed its recommendations today in the report on the Potential Impacts of Brexit on Ireland’s Housing Market. The report reflects the Committee’s concern that current housing policy was written before Brexit was a pressing concern and notes that like any working document it should be continuously renewed and updated.

“The UK is shortly due to withdraw from the European Union.  We sought to examine what this will mean for our housing sector, and whether there are any steps that we should be taking now to prepare for any shocks. With Ireland currently experiencing a substantial housing shortage it is necessary to examine if Brexit could impact the housing market”, said Committee Chair Maria Bailey TD.

“This report will hopefully kick-start the discussion around the impact of Brexit on Housing in Ireland. The report deals with potential population changes, added pressure to our housing stock, barriers to trade and potential tariffs on goods, potential disruption to materials needed for construction and potential increased costs and delays on construction times. Anything which may impact on the delivery of housing, public or private, or potential additional demand on current housing stock is cause for concern”, Deputy Bailey said.

The report discusses whether possible changes to the EU Customs Union and/or Single Market may impact the cost of building developments in Ireland. An increase in costs or customs checks could have a secondary effect on building completion times.

“The aim of the report is to highlight some of the impacts which Brexit may have on the housing sector. The Committee determined that many of the issues the housing sector could face post-Brexit are existing issues that would be worsened, rather than specific Brexit-induced problems”, Deputy Bailey said.

Potential modifications to the Common Travel Area could impact completion times due to a resulting skills shortage. Finally it examines whether companies’ ability to gain capital for development and the availability of mortgage credit could be affected by possible changes to international financial markets following Brexit.

Among the report’s recommendations:

*Current housing protections such as Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) are strengthened to protect tenants.
*Rebuilding Ireland, is continuously re-examined and the targets are updated to reflect the current housing demand, including the anticipated effects of Brexit.
*Significant ongoing investment in the construction tech sector takes place so Ireland becomes more self sufficient, less reliant on overseas for construction products/technology.
*More is done to attract skilled constructions workers to Ireland and to support stakeholders in encouraging Irish construction workers to return home.
*More dynamic ways to promote apprenticeships and third level construction course are introduced to encourage people to enter the construction sector.
*Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to  act after  Brexit, and ensure the minimum level of disruption to construction material supply chains and cross border labour.

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