Ireland's house prices are the second fastest-growing in the EU, according to Seán Kelly MEP. New data released by Eurostat on Wednesday showed that the highest annual increases in house prices in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the second quarter of 2016 were recorded in Czech Republic (+13.3%), Ireland (+10.6%) and Lithuania (+10.2%), much higher than the EU average increase of 4.4%. Ireland’s prices also grew by one percent between Q1 and Q2 of 2017.
Speaking from the European Parliament, Brussels, Seán Kelly, highlighted the need for more regional investment to ease the pressure on Dublin, and welcomed the allocation of €1.9 billion for housing in yesterday’s Budget 2018: “These figures are not surprising, but they do offer another reminder that work needs to be done to tackle this ongoing issue of housing in Ireland - an issue stemming from the economic downturn that citizens continue to suffer from.
“The big issue here is the huge demand for housing in Dublin where the economic recovery has been most prominent, and I think that one way to help solve the problem is to greatly increase investment elsewhere around the country. I strongly welcome the doubling of capital investment from €3.7 billion in 2015 to €7.8 billion in 2021 and I call for this investment to be spread to the regions and move jobs to locations other than Dublin.
“It is vital that we increase investment in cities such as Limerick, Cork, Waterford, and Kilkenny - all of these have huge untapped potential, and while the obvious solution to Dublin’s housing problem is to increase in supply, decreasing demand by making these cities more attractive to workers would achieve the same result, and in doing so would revitalise our regions," said Mr Kelly, Leader of the Fine Gael Delegation in the European Parliament.
“The housing issue is one that needs to be solved, and I welcome the Government’s plans in the Budget. €1.9 billion for housing is an increase of 46% over 2017 and that is a significant step in the right direction. The regional approach is the best way forward as it will bring badly needed investment and job creation to our regional towns and cities, while easing the pressure on the Dublin market”, he concluded.