Budget 2021: ‘First-time buyers need more help’

Budget 2021: ‘First-time buyers need more help’

Photo:: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Apartments “are not viable and are not being built” at the moment, according to a Cork developer who has led calls for first-time buyers to be considered in Budget 2021.

Michael O’Flynn, CEO and chairman of the O’Flynn Group claims that the right incentives for that group of people are the key to finding a solution for the on-going issues with housing in Cork, and could make it more viable for developers to build.

Speaking to The Echo, he said the demand for housing remains, but that affordability issues must be addressed.

“A lot of the future of Cork is pointed towards the docklands and elsewhere and unfortunately, in this moment in time, apartments are not viable and they’re not being built so we have to have a serious review into where housing will work for developers at the same time that it will work for purchasers,” Mr O’Flynn said.

Mr O’Flynn said he fears that incentives in the upcoming budget may not be enough to help get first time buyers onto the property ladder.

Michael O'Flynn, Chairman and CEO of O'Flynn Group.
Michael O'Flynn, Chairman and CEO of O'Flynn Group.

“Help to buy has to be extended. That’s a huge factor in people being able to put together the required money to help them to buy a house and get mortgage finance,” he said.

“I think that there is a huge case for a lower Vat for people who are trying to get on the housing ladder, and I think that’s something that successive governments haven’t considered.

“I’m very worried that we are going to put more people onto social housing lists if we don’t find a way of making houses more affordable,” he said.

The cost of renting is something which Mr O’Flynn hopes to see rectified in the Budget 2021.

“We have serious issues that are inhibiting supply [of houses] and we can only hope that when the budget comes, that the initiatives that are there and others will be considered to increase supply and make it more viable for us to build our houses,” he said.

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