Housing crisis: O’Brien insists ‘momentum is building’ across Irish market

The Government expects to have exceeded its target of constructing 29,000 homes last year.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

13.54 17 Jan 2024

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Housing crisis: O’Brien insist...

Housing crisis: O’Brien insists ‘momentum is building’ across Irish market

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

13.54 17 Jan 2024

Share this article

"Momentum is building” across all sectors of Ireland’s housing market, the Housing Minister has claimed.

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Minister Darragh O’Brien said he believes the Government exceeded its target of building 29,000 homes in 2023, with annual performance figures due to be published next week.

The Minister also claimed that 600 first-time home buyers are drawing down mortgages every week in Ireland.


It comes as a Sinn Féin motion aiming to target investment funds ‘bulk purchasing’ homes through a further increase in stamp duty is to be heard in the Dáil today.

Minister O’Brien told Pat that Ireland’s housing situation “is not perfect, but it is improving”.

“Momentum is building across all sectors in housing now,” he said.

“Last year, we built more new social homes than we had done in 50 years and it’s stepped up another level now.

“As I’m talking today, there are about 24,000 social homes under construction across the country.”

Help to Buy

Minister O’Brien said the Help to Buy Scheme, first introduced in 2017, has been a hugely positive addition to Ireland’s housing market.

“What we have seen because of it is a big change in the number of first-time buyers being able to buy homes,” he said.

“It gives €30,000 of your tax back towards a deposit.

“I’m a firm believer in home ownership and that’s why I have backed it to the hilts and that’s why this Government does back home ownership.”

Cost Rentals

The Cost Rental scheme was another addition hailed by Minister O’Brien.

“The rental market does not function as it should,” he said.

“This has been the case for a long number of years so what we are endeavouring to do is put other forms of renting in like cost rentals.

“With this, you are looking at long-term, secure rents, that are a minimum of 25% below market and your tenure is secure.

“It gives people that security of tenure and it gives them affordability in it.”

High rent

Minister O’Brien acknowledged that rent was too high for new homes coming to the market.

“Existing rents are about 18% below new rents,” he said.

“But we do need [new] rental properties too as we have seen a flight over the last number of years of good individual landlords from the market.

“People, at various different stages of their lives, will choose or want to rent – so we need to have properties for that.”

The Housing Minister encouraged anyone looking to buy a home to check out the supports available to them as “it’s working for real families and real people”.

Main image: The Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien arrives at Dublin Castle for Cabinet, 21-07-2020. Image: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

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