Rising steel, timber and energy prices have made some housing schemes impractical, the National Economic Dialogue will be told as ministers, experts and academics gather for a major pre-budget event.
Housing production and affordability as well as rising cost of living are likely to dominate the event today at the Printworks building in Dublin Castle, where attendees will include senior members of government, including Taoiseach Michael Martin, Taniste Leo Varadkar, Pascal Donohoe, Michael McGrath. and Heather Humphries as well as academic experts and representatives from industry, unions and civil society organizations. The event will be chaired by ESRI Professor Alan Barrett.
‘Breakout’ sessions with ministers will include economic policy, industrial development and housing and are designed to engage in budgetary policy later in the year.
This means that inflation will be huge in terms of designing measures to reduce the hit for high-cost households without increasing inflationary pressures.
Housing papers published before the event flagged inflation-borne risks to the delivery of affordable homes from rising commodity prices. From April to April, steel, wood, plaster and cement prices were at 51pc, 28pc, 21pc and 15pc respectively in the year, threatening viability in some cases and reducing developer margins.
Meanwhile, a survey by PwC of Irish consumers shows that consumers here say price increases are affecting affordability in retail, with three in three expecting their spending to drop over the next six months. is less than one.
The 2022 Irish Consumer Insights Survey shows that consumers are changing their shopping habits as a result of rising costs, along with potential budget implications, including VAT revenue.
It was found that rising prices of groceries is the biggest issue affecting the shopping experience, though supply chain issues and short supply of some items are also affecting consumers. Despite the higher prices, spending on some categories is still set to increase in the next six months. Many Irish consumers say they are happy to pay higher prices for local products.
More than three quarters (76pc) of Irish consumers are happy to pay a higher-than-average price for locally or domestically produced products, with over half saying they have already increased purchases from local retailers.