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Families ‘distressed’ as developer delays major housing project due to rising costs

 

FAMILIES have been left devastated after a developer delayed the start date for a major housing scheme in Co Laois due to rising costs.

lder Residential has put the development of Millers Hill, a 79-home estate in Killenard, on hold until next March, citing rising costs of building materials, tight labor markets, a shortage of skilled workers and wintry weather.

Homebuyers are required to put down a deposit of €10,000 to secure a home on the estate.

However, it is understood that after the project has been delayed for around six months, these deposits will now be returned to those who no longer wish to proceed.

Independent TD Carol Nolan said she had been contacted by “distressed couples” whose dreams of owning a new home had been “absolutely dashed”.

He also criticized the 10% concrete tax introduced by the government in Budget 2023.

“This is yet another clear indication that the measures the Government adopted in its Budget last week are already an absolute disaster for families and those trying to own their own homes,” Deputy Nolan said.

“The concrete tax must be repealed immediately. It is outrageous that the government is raising revenue in this way in the midst of the worst housing crisis in decades.

“Developers are leaving, and with them the hopes and dreams of young families. This is a trend that cannot be allowed to continue. It is completely ironic, indeed sad, that the immediate impact of this so-called giveaway budget has been to erode people’s confidence in home ownership. I have raised this matter with the Minister of Housing and this line I will seek immediate cancellation,” he added.

Pat O’Sullivan, director of Alder Residential, told Independent.ie his company made its decision ahead of budget.

“It’s easy to say that concrete taxation is the reason, but even though it clearly didn’t help, we made up our minds before it was announced,” he said.

“There were many people with deposits paid on homes based on a September start date, but we decided to delay the start date until spring for a number of reasons. This avoids additional costs and delays due to an unprecedented increase in construction materials, a significant shortage of workers and the weather heading into winter.”

Mr O’Sullivan said around 10 customers who had paid deposits were now trying to get their money back and they would be refunded this week.

“I’m obviously disappointed as we get ready to start September,” he added.

Mr O’Sullivan said unprecedented construction material cost inflation due to the war in Ukraine and post-pandemic supply issues had negatively affected the industry.

Millers Hill will have a mix of three and four bedroom semi-detached houses along with larger four and five bedroom detached houses.

The development borders a golf course and house prices start at €350,000 on MyHome.ie.

In an email to those putting down deposits, Mr O’Sullivan said the company’s aim was to “keep the sale price as close as possible to the original price”.

“We believe that the launch delay may enable this. We do not take this decision lightly as we know you will be very disappointed.

“We apologize for the inconvenience caused and hope this timely communication will help you make better decisions regarding your home purchase.”

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe introduced a tax on defective concrete products in this year’s Budget, with the controversial tax expected to come into effect from April 3 next year.

Tax on concrete blocks, poured concrete and certain concrete products is levied at the rate of 10pc.

Families ‘distressed’ as developer delays major housing project due to rising costs

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Families ‘distressed’ as developer delays major housing project due to rising costs

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