I’ve always been slightly puzzled by the press coverage that accompanies announcements about new social housing development.
In many cases the build cost looks very high, often higher than just building existing units in the area.
Here’s a thread for keeping track with examples.
Plans are afoot for a new build by Wicklow County Council of 42 units in Bray. Details are here: wicklow.ie/part-8-kilbride-lane-development-plan
An overall price of €14.7m has been given. Mention is also made of a boom-time purchase price of €6m for the land. From what I can tell this is not included in the €14.7m.
So we are looking at a cost of €350k per unit just to build. 14 of these are apartments and there a lot of one-bed units. So an underwhelming total of 79 bedrooms in the whole lot, or €186k per bedroom.
It is an infill site in a built-up area so presumably no issues with electricity, water, gas connections, etc. There will be a single road on the whole site.
€350k is a lot of money. About ten years of full-time work on average wages.
In 1978 output per worker in Ireland was about £9000, wages per worker were likely lower. New houses cost just over £20,000, a much lower ratio than today.
Why is new social housing so expensive today compared to then?