“According to the report by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI), the average cost of building a three bedroom, semi-detached house in the greater Dublin area is €330,000. The construction costs, or ‘hard costs,’ come to €150,000, amounting to less than half (45pc) of the total cost of building the house.”
The article goes on to explain that another €57,000 is needed to buy the site, to which you’d have to say, ‘fair enough.’ After all, you can’t build the damn thing in the suspended animation. But that still leaves €123,000 of the buy price unaccounted for, which is over a third of it. Well, there’s €39,000 in VAT and that’s pure taxation for wanting somewhere to live. The other €38,000 is the gross margin for the seller on the deal.
So let’s put that in bullet points for the average home in Dublin this month.
√ €330,000 to buy it, (100%)
√ €57,000 for the land it stands on, (17%)
√ €150,000 to build it, (45%)
√ €39,000 to the Government for doing nothing at all, (12%).
√ €38,000 margin for the seller, (11%).
Now I’m no accountant but leaving aside the land and building costs, the other ‘soft costs’ mentioned in the article still only come to €134,000. Yet they say the soft costs amount to €180,000. If so, where did the other €46,000 go to. Try borrowing just €46,000 on its own over 30 years and you’ll end up paying back €373,358 so it isn’t exactly peanuts.
Well, you must expect the legal profession to have its snout in the trough especially with all that conveyancing flying about. Then there is the original property tax that is still applied. For the benefit of overseas readers, we have what’s called ‘Stamp Duty’ or a tax on the transaction of 1% of the sell price. It was a property tax imposed by the founders of the State and it’s still there but a few ago they decided to apply a second property tax annually as well. They tried to do that kind of double-taxation with water but met a revolution and dropped the idea. Still in the case of the €330,000 house here, they already bagged €38,000 in value added tax and will get 1%, or €3,300 in stamp duty as well from the impoverished buyer. Given the Government bags so much from the citizens basic needs, it is no wonder they desire to overheat the property market.
The final irony is the interest on the loan for €330,000 for an average house in Dublin payable over 30 years at a fixed 7%. The piggy in the middle, the buyer, will work hard to pay back a whopping €2,678,444 to the lender. And that is for a site worth €57,000 and a building cost of €150,000. It’s €207,000 worth of house for almost €2.7million in repayments.
Just how hot would this Government like the property market to get?