Too often, simple, seductive measures have been promoted that offer the Government the illusion of action, but without any real prospect of solving the problems in the housing market. There has been no shortage of bad ideas: mortgage interest relief, Section 23 tax allowances, and 100pc loan-to-value mortgages. At best, these initiatives can be described as a naive attempt to make housing more affordable, bridging the gap between incomes and the current level of property prices. However, history has taught us any initiative that gives home buyers or builders more money will always be inflationary, with little long-lasting impact on housing supply. So it was disappointing to see Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, adding to the chorus of voices criticising the Central Bank’s lending rules. According to reports, he said “one aspect of the mortgage rules that is very tough is the fact that you are expected to show you are saving at the same time that you are renting”. I can’t imagine how any well-run banking system can give out mortgages to those with no history of saving. One popular anecdote in recent years was that 15-20 workers from one of the well-known… Read full this story
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