By Trim, Co Meath
Thursday August 07 2008
For the past few months, we have been inundated with media reports about the “collapsing” construction industry. If, as we are allegedly informed, there are many builders currently unemployed, can someone please explain to me why I’m getting the same quotes (average quote €165,000 for a contract build) from builders to build a 138m sq bungalow on my own site as I got two years ago at the height of the boom?
CSO figures tell us that the average house price in the Republic of Ireland in 1996 was €87,000, and this rose to over €300,000 in 2006 (Irish Independent, July 31).
At last these grossly inflated house prices are coming back to more realistic levels, but why are the grossly inflated prices that builders were charging customers during the boom years not also coming down?
To put builders’ wages in context, it ought to be pointed out that one does not require third-level qualifications to be a builder in this country (unlike in Germany, for instance).
I went to university, studied hard and after 12 years’ teaching, my gross annual salary currently stands at €53,000.
However, someone with no qualifications can tell me that he wants €165,000 to build my house and supposing that he builds four or five houses a year, is it any wonder that all the builders I know have the best of houses, cars and holidays, while I’m still in rented accommodation trying fruitlessly to get onto the property ladder?
It cost an average of £35,000 to build a house of 138m sq 10 years ago.
When are builders going to come down from Cloud Cuckoo Land and start charging clients realistic prices?