Dáil Éireann - Volume 483 - 25 November, 1997

Written Answers. - House Prices.

53. Mr. Noonan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will give details of the funding, if any, provided in the Estimates for 1998 to support initiatives to deal with the cost of new housing which continues to rise at a significant rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19611/97]

253. Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the efforts, if any, he is making to deal with the problem of rapidly increasing house prices in the Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20176/97]

300. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the incentives, if any, he will introduce to enable persons on the average industrial wage or less to acquire a home in view of the modern house prices and limitations on the borrowing capability of these persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20569/97]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 253 and 300 together.

A range of measures are being undertaken in the light of increases in house prices. Among the measures for which funding is provided in the 1998 Estimates of expenditure are: the establishment of a £15 million fund over three years, £5 million which will available next year, specifically for the purpose of providing water and sewerage which are required to open up land for housing and other development; the introduction of improvements to a range of social housing measures to improve affordability of housing for shared owners and other low income house purchasers and to enable the voluntary housing sector to meet increasing tender prices. The cost of these improvements will be met, as appropriate, from the additional funding of £44.74 million provided in the 1998 Estimates for the social and local authority housing programmes; and the recently awarded consultancy study on house [620] prices, the findings of which I hope to have by March 1998.

Provisional figures which are available to my Department suggest that there has been some moderation in the rate of increase of house prices in the quarter ending 30 September. When the figures have been finalised, they will be published in the September Housing Statistics Bulletin.