Government urged to reduce VAT in house-building sector

The Government has been urged to reduce VAT levels on the house construction sector.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors said incentives were needed to boost the number of new homes being built.

The group is predicting property prices will rise by an average of 7% across the country this year.

However, it believes many people are still shut out of the market.

Spokesperson Ronan O'Hara said house-building in Dublin is not keeping pace with demand.

She said: "In 2016 there was a 27% increase in planning permissions in Dublin, the lowest increase in all the four regions of the country.

"In Munster, the level of planning permissions was up 42%. So, in the main urban centre of the country, the level of planning permissions and commencements was at an all-time low."

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