Wednesday 17 October 2007

No plans to cut affordable house prices despite drop

CORK County Council has no immediate plans to reduce the cost of its affordable houses, despite a price drop on the general housing market.

In light of the recent slump on the open market, Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF) asked council officials if they were prepared to drop the cost of affordable houses, which are designed to be within the price range of lower income families.

Assistant county manager for the north Cork region, Tim Lucey, said he couldn’t see any change coming in the foreseeable future, especially as the price of affordable homes was way below the market value, sometimes by up to €90,000.

Mr O’Flynn also maintained the fall-off in building represented an ideal opportunity for the local authority to get more affordable houses built by developers who had slacker worksheets.

“We’re not in the market to start bailing out developers who are slowing down. We’re in the market for houses,” Mr Lucey replied. He said that at present the county council had 46 affordable houses available in the north Cork area.

“The houses range in price from €133,000 to €177,000. On the open market they would sell from €225,000 to €280,000. These houses are way cheaper than the open market. It is a very attractive scheme,” said Mr Lucey.

The assistant county manager said the only way he envisaged dropping the price of affordable houses was if the cost of building material plummeted.

Irish Examiner

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