Cost of building has doubled in the last ten years

This battle between the CIF and the construction workers is going to get ugly!

If the cost of labour only doubled, how come the price of a house quadrupled over the same period?

That’s the question I would be asking if I was a builder being asked to take a pay cut.

Exactly. The most powerful arguments are those with the simplest of reasoning.

Land, Building Regualtions (Insulation, etc), Development Contribution Scheme Charges, Other Regulations (Part V, H&S, Labour), Local Authority Policies (Recreation, Creche, etc) other charges (ESB connections, professional fees) and of course the market!
If you take the average cost of 3 bed semi around the country at max (outside of Galway, Cork and Dublin) at 250,000 then you’re not exactly talking about massive margins. (roughly 15% as an industry norm)
It’s the quantity over the last few years that has given the profits and those that had bought at the right time but even then every developer has to price the units according to the current cost of the land, otherwise you’re out of business.
In any event there are no proposals for a pay cut. A pay freeze for existing employees and a new grade for **new **entrants into the industry, the current entry rate (legally enforcable) is around €14 an hour.
The other point is how many people do developers actually employ? A lot contract out their work to contractors.
Most other workers are employed by contractors working on public sector work and private sector work.

Presumably developers will be negotiating very hard on this point before they start taking food off people’s tables.

A 50% haircut on the price of land would do the country a power of good. Might help restore some of our lost competitiveness.

Oh, and a wage freeze in a country with 5% inflation is a pay cut. A quite substantial pay cut.

Land prices in this country (well up to recently anyway) were/are ridicolous. 50% and then some and even then I might be wrong with the way food prices are going. Farming the new development business?
Take your point about the pay freeze and inflation but the pain is going to be spread around over the next few years but still most workers are employed by contractors not developers.

QFT - According to a site agent for a large building contractor we work with, H&S in the last couple of years now comprises 25% to the cost of construction (i.e. 33% increase on costs).

We do a significant amount of domestic construction - one off houses etc. (not generally affected by the downturn as people tend to get their plots off family) and prices are coming in significantly down on where we would have expected - e.g. one might now pay €260k for something last year one would pay €340k for.

A lot of the contractors that were employed on the large/medium scale developments are now targetting the one off house market as they have to. The one off house sector is not as well policed by regulators as the large&medium developments and therefore guys are cutting corners to get work in the one off sector and putting the better companies in this sector under pressure.
A lot of rumours about work being done by direct labour in this sector returning to the cash in hand days to get it done cheaper. People should really look for Homebond/Premier gurantees for their one off houses and check the builders out. You don’t want to employ guys on the cheap, they are cutting corners somewhere.

All quotes from trusted builders. All quotes were similarly cheap.

Big difference there. Must be simply turning around and saying to brickies/plumbers/plasterers etc, etc “you’re not getting €1.50 a block, it’s €1 from now on”.
I’d still be wary though about compliance with Building Regs/H&S regs/compliance with planning&drawings etc for that much of a difference in 12 months.
Still just goes to show how much times have changed.