Wednesday August 12, 2020

Central Bank loosening of mortgage rules fails to assist non first-time buyers

Many owners are stuck at the bottom of the property ladder - and unable to move up, warns chartered surveyor

1st December, 2016
Iain Finnegan

What's your name?

Iain Finnegan

What is your organisation, what does it do and what position do you hold?

Finnegan Menton Property Consultants. It's a full service firm of the Chartered Surveyors providing expert professional advice in all aspects of residential and commercial property. I am the principal and managing director of Finnegan Menton.

How long have you held your current role?

I've been managing director for the last 11 years.

What are your day to day responsibilities?

Servicing clients’ requirements and liaising with them to advise and update them. I liaise with colleagues to keep abreast of all ongoing major work cases and projects. I head up strategy, administration and new business acquisition, together with the senior team in the firm.

What is your professional background and experience?

I am a qualified General Practice Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and a European Board Member of SIOR (Society of Industrial Office Realtors) which is an American based Global Property Institution similar to the Chartered Surveyors

I have almost 30 years experience in both the Irish and International property market and have conducted over €1 Billion worth of property transactions. I am a Co-Founder and Director of Wilton US Commercial which is a US REIT which owns and manages over 400,000 sq ft of commercial space in the Chicago Market.

You are speaking at the Residential Property Summit conference. What are you speaking about?

I would like to share my thoughts on possible ways to encourage higher density, better quality units in the rental market based on my experience and observations in the US market. I also have some thoughts on innovative financing to free up the second-hand market in starter homes.

What challenges do you see ahead for the residential property sector?

How to ensure that the fine balance between stimulating price increases sufficiently to facilitate new home building, while preventing a new property price bubble. Also the challenge of changing mind sets both in the planning departments, as well as public opinions on what is sustainable high density residential development and in which locations this is most appropriate.

What are your views on the latest announcements on relaxing the mortgage deposit rules and government incentives for first time buyers?

I broadly welcome the Central Banks amendments to the mortgage deposit rules, which when combined with the government incentives for first time buyers should help to stimulate the market sufficiently to facilitate the acceleration of building new homes. I feel that they have missed an opportunity to assist non first time buyers who are stuck at the bottom of the property ladder unable to move up.

Where would you like to see the sector in 10 years time?

As with all people in the property profession I wish to see a stable, functioning residential property market as soon as possible with readily available financing on appropriate commercial terms with the sufficient provision of new homes on an annual basis that is sustainable in terms of both supply and demand. I would hope that the local authorities and planning departments would have a better understanding of what Irish home owners and renters truly want, as it has consistently been shown over the years that the whims of the planners usually don’t match the desires of the purchasers/renters which has led to inappropriate development in the wrong areas being occupied by people out of necessity rather than desire. We should accept that there is a large cohort of the population who wish to live in the city centre either on a rental or ownership basis who want to live downtown and be part of the buzz of a vibrant city and are happy to live in high density, high rise (where suitable) developments provided they are up to date and fit for purpose while the remaining population would prefer to live in lower density housing outside the city.

Iain Finnegan will be speaking at The Sunday Business Post Residential Property Summit on December 6 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin. See for further details.

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