Responding to the Daft.ie survey that showed a dramatic increase in house prices in coastal locations Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness said that young families and bearing the brunt of out-of-control inflation in the housing market.
“Young couples and families in Waterford are being priced out of their communities. This is especially true for locations such as Ardmore, Dungarvan and the Gaeltacht. Demand far outstrips supply, and it has become impossible for young families to find a house to purchase.
“The recent Daft.ie survey shows that prices for properties in coastal locations have increased by 23% since the start of the pandemic. The same survey shows a state-wide price increase of 8.7%. The Central Statistics Office published figures recently showing a 6% increase in house prices in the South East, which is significantly higher than the national average.
“This is exacerbating the already dysfunctional housing market, and making it even more difficult for local couples and families to find a property within their own community. If left unchecked it will spell the demise of rural communities, which run the risk of being turned into holiday resorts.
“There is a related phenomenon happening in the private rental sector, where an already difficult situation is being made worse by an increased prevalence in short-term lettings. Many property owners are opting to offer houses and apartments on Airbnb and similar platforms rather than renting them to families as it can be more lucrative. This is further impacting supply and resulting in increased rents locally.
“The Government has an obligation to intervene in this situation. Sinn Féin has been campaigning for an ambitious multi-year house-building programme to include social and affordable units. The electorate clearly voted for a change in policy last year. Instead they got a new minister implementing the same failed policies of his predecessor.
“Ten years of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil incompetence has led us to the current situation. The pandemic has exacerbated it, but families were being priced out of their communities for many years before Covid-19 arrived on our shores.
“We need change. The Government can’t keep its head buried in the sand or hiding behind soundbites. The only solution is for the state to deliver affordable purchase homes across communities on large scale and on an ongoing basis to meet supply.”