Dáil Éireann - Volume 616 - 08 March, 2006

Written Answers. - Land Development.

  107. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether zoned land is being hoarded and drip fed onto the market in order to keep prices high, especially around urban centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9508/06]

  Mr. Roche: In 2003, consultants engaged by my Department carried out a study that among other things considered factors affecting the supply of land to the housing market, including the possible hoarding of building land. The study considered previous analyses of the housing and land markets, and sought possible evidence of hoarding, based on case studies of three areas, including Fingal and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. The consultants concluded there was no evidence that hoarding of land was a widespread problem or that there were excessive levels of land banking.

There were over 80,000 housing completions in 2005, and planning permission was granted for over 137,000 housing units in the first three quarters of the year. These figures do not suggest that hoarding of land zoned for housing development is at present a significant contributory factor to [698] house prices. House price inflation reflects a range of factors driving demand, including strong economic growth, full employment, low interest rates, dynamic demographics and net immigration.