Poll: Do you think Ireland's housing crisis is exaggerated?

A leading government adviser certainly thinks it is.

By Conor McMahon Reporter, Fora

ONE OF THE government’s peak housing advisers boldly described Ireland’s housing crisis as “completely normal”.

Speaking last week at the Urban Land Institute conference in Dublin, Housing Agency chair Conor Skehan said every country in Europe has problems with affordable housing and claimed that homelessness here is lower than many other EU member states.

He said that we are near the end of a five-year cycle that typically follows a housing crash and warned that Ireland is at a point where policy makers begin to panic over poor supply.

“This is the period when plans are put in place that will produce the next downward cycle,” Skehan said. “The thing that causes oversupply begins right now.

“What we’re trying to say to the government and any minister we can lay our hands on is enough of the initiatives, just let us get on with the recovery in an orderly way,” he said.

Skehan’s comments are at odds with the general narrative surrounding the country’s housing shortage.

Last month, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland said urgent measures needed to be introduced to push developers to build, warning that the crisis could last another 10 years without intervention.

It’s also been flagged that rapidly increasing rents and property prices are the main worry for workers, particularly in Dublin - which could hamper Ireland’s chances of attracting further foreign direct investment.

With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Do you think Ireland’s housing crisis is exaggerated?