Dáil Éireann - Volume 531 - 22 February, 2001
Written Answers. - House Prices.
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
30. Mr. McDowell asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the average price of a new house; the average price of a new house in June 1997; and the further steps he is considering to resolve the housing crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5136/01]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): Latest published figures from my Department's house price statistics indicate that, on a national basis, the average price of a new house in the September quarter 2000 was £133,459. The average new house price for the June quarter 1997 was £78,415.
Since coming to office, the Government has taken a wide range of measures to increase housing supply, remove infrastructural and planning bottlenecks, moderate increases in house prices and to improve affordability of housing, particularly for first time purchasers. The policy objectives and Government measures were set out in Action on House Prices in April 1998, Action on  the Housing Market in March 1999 and Action on Housing in June 2000.
There is clear evidence that the Government's actions over recent years have had a significantly positive impact in the face of strongly rising demand for housing. Total new housing output in 2000 was almost 50,000 units, an increase of 7% over the 1999 total, the sixth consecutive year of record housing output. House price data for recent months indicate further moderation in the rate of increase in average house prices. There is also firm evidence that first time buyers are gaining an increasing share of the new housing market. The provision of £6 billion for social and affordable housing in the national development plan, augmented by further investment of almost £1 billion announced in Action on Housing, will ensure that the social and affordable housing needs of almost 100,000 households will be met with Government assistance over the period of the plan.
The Government is committed to implementing major reforms in the private rented residential sector, arising from the recommendations in the report of the Commission on the Private Rented Residential Sector. These measures, which include establishment of a private residential tenancies board to deal with disputes between landlords and tenants, legislation to provide improved security of tenure for tenants and targeted tax and supply incentives to promote further investment in the sector, should facilitate the development of a better managed and more professional private rented sector. The Government is constantly monitoring housing developments and reviewing its policies to ensure that the unprecedented surge in housing demand associated with our economic success is met in a sustainable way.
Dáil Éireann 531 Written Answers. House Prices.