September 23, 2020
Business News

Up, up, up … It now costs whopping €371,000 to build a house in north Wicklow

The cost of building a three-bedroom semi-detached house in the Greater Dublin Area including north Wicklow has increased by €41,000 over the last four year and now stands at a staggering €371,000, a major new report has found.

This is an increase of 12% or 3% averaged over the last four years.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, which published the report, says the increase has been largely driven by an increase in ‘hard costs’ – bricks and mortar – up 19% or €29,000 while ‘soft costs’ – land, development levies, fees, vat, margin – increased by just 7% or €12,000.

‘The Real Cost of New Housing Delivery 2020’ – which is based on a detailed study of 30 live sites in the Greater Dublin Area – found that ‘hard costs’ came to €179,000, which at 48% is less than half of the overall cost of providing a new house.

The report identifies a number of contributory factors for the increase in hard costs including the introduction of new building and compliance regulations as well as increased labour costs and general inflation.

Land and acquisition costs of €61,000 (16%) VAT of €44,000 (12%) and a margin of €44,000 (12%) make up the main elements of the soft costs which total €192,000 or 52% of the total cost.

The most significant increases on the construction side are associated with higher costs for site development works such as drainage, water connections, landscaping and paving.

On average the cost of siteworks is approximately €40,000, an increase of over 43% since 2016. Structural costs increased by more than 15% – more than €7,400 per unit – due to the costs of increased fire regulations and additional supports.

When the SCSI conducted its first study in 2016, soft costs made up 55% of total costs while hard costs comprised 45%.

“New private housing supply will only increase to meet demand when the affordability/viability issue is placed at the centre of housing policy development and critically, it must be based on a detailed examination of the real costs of housing delivery,” said incoming SCSI President Micheál Mahon.

“If the Government is serious about tackling the housing crisis and building the 30,000 to 35,000 homes which are required it needs to tackle the significant increases which have occurred in housing delivery costs as a matter of urgency.”

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