The CEO of home builder Glenveagh Properties said he believes the Government should set a target of building 40,000 homes a year, rather than the 33,000 set out in its 'Housing for All' plan.

Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne, Stephen Garvey said the only people who can fix the housing supply issue is the private sector .

But he added that the private and public sector need to work together.

Mr Garvey said the last two years had been volatile due to the pandemic and supply constraints and material based inflation, but in recent weeks the labour market had improved.

But he said an issue facing workers is finding accommodation, adding that the industry needs to respond and is willing too, once the Government sits down with them to discuss options.

He praised the Government and Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien for progress recorded so far.

But he said that policies around land such as zoning needed to be looked at at a local authority level so that more supply could come into the system.

"In 30 days time with the new census data, I would expect to see the population increasing to 5.2 million. We're taking in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and so our housing stats and targets are out of date," Mr Garvey said.

"The long term target of 40,000 units per year is where we need to get to," he added.

He said that in 2005 and 2006, the industry built between 70,000 to 90,000 units per year, but these days the industry is adapting its technology and methodology to improve its efficiency.

He gave an example that 25% of work required to build a house can now be done on a factory floor and that the industry needs more of this and to ramp it up.

Mr Garvey said that in the past people could borrow ten times their income for a mortgage but he would suggest that four times is more appropriate but that the Central Bank was "not going to change the rules".

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

He suggested that disposable income be looked at rather than salary for first time buyers, as their salary generally goes up over time.

He said that there had there had been a lot of "negative and false commentary" about what is going on in housing, but said the private sector has the tools and resources to tackle the challenges that are coming down the line.

"We have to accept that we can't keep doing what we did, we need to look at the policy that can deliver for the people out there in terms of what the consumer needs," he said.

On the future, Stephen Garvey said his biggest concern on house prices was that viable stock was reducing quickly and that this would be ongoing, with thousands more needed than what is currently coming on stream.

He said that developers are doing "their utmost" to keep house prices down, but that increasing the volume of houses is the only way to solve it.