Written Answers. - Housing Market.

Thomas P. Broughan


30 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he has commissioned another report on the housing situation from a consultant (details supplied); if so, the terms of reference of the proposed report; when it will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10020/00]

Peter Bacon and Associates, economic consultants, have been commissioned to undertake a general review of housing market developments since the introduction by the Government of the measures under Action on House Prices, April 1998, and Action on the Housing Market, March 1999, and to carry out an evaluation of recent developments in housing demand, housing supply and house prices.

The terms of reference for the study are to assess the impact of Government measures in relation to supply, demand, cost of housing and housing land, to assess changes in affordability of housing, to assess the impact of lending policies of the mortgage lenders on the housing market, to estimate the short and medium-term prospects for serviced land availability and housing supply having regard to housing demand, to conduct an up-to-date short and medium-term model-based assessment of likely demand for housing, including for rented accommodation, distinguishing in particular expected developments in major population centres and having regard to recent and prospective developments in areas such as interest rates, incomes and taxation and to develop a framework-methodology to enable the Department, on an ongoing basis to carry out reviews and assessments of housing market developments.

On the basis of these terms of reference, it is envisaged that the consultants will make recommendations for further actions to bring supply into line with demand, including the management of demand, and further increases as necessary in housing output, having regard to the safeguards required in relation to the quality of the residential environment.

The review has been commenced and it is envisaged that it will be concluded by the end of May. I anticipate that the results of the review will be considered urgently by Government and then published together with an appropriate response.