Call for construction of European-style apartments

Tuesday 05 August 2014 23.13
The Society of Chartered Surveyors is concerned at rising house prices and the low level of house building
The Society of Chartered Surveyors is concerned at rising house prices and the low level of house building

The Society of Chartered Surveyors has called for the construction of more European-style family apartments.

The society said that if future apartments were designed for family living it would reduce pressure on the supply of traditional three and four-bedroom homes.

It also called for a reduction of VAT on new home building to help tackle the housing supply problem.

The society has said it is concerned at rising house prices and the low level of house building currently being undertaken.

It published a strategy today that it said would ensure adequate supply of houses in urban areas and in Dublin in particular.

Among the measures proposed is an exemption of the property tax for people trading down, the establishment of a builders' finance fund, and the introduction of a vacant site levy on vacant sites with residential development potential.

The society said the builders' finance fund would help smaller builders and would speed up housing developments of between 15 and 250 units that have slowed down or stalled.

Meanwhile, new figures from the Central Bank show that just over half of homeowners who were in arrears and had their mortgages restructured are now making full repayments under their new conditions.

Around 18,000 mortgages which were in arrears of 90 days or more have been restructured by the banks.

According to the Central Bank, 55% of them are now making full repayments. The figure stood at 28% in 2011.

However, 11% of permanently modified defaulted loans consistently make no repayment after modification.

Latest figures from the Irish Banking Federation show that over 2,000 mortgages were issued per month in the three months to the end of June.

It was the highest level of approvals since the banking federation series began in 2011.