IPAV, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers, has welcomed the opening for business of the €750 million Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI ) fund first announced in October 2017.
However, the organisation which represents 1,300 member firms cautioned that the loan terms and administrative detail must not be over burdensome.
IPAV Chief Executive, Pat Davitt, said his organisation had prevailed upon the Government for the past four years to introduce such a scheme.
“It’s imperative that HBFI would be in a position to offer loans with interest rates under five percent if it is to succeed in bringing SME builders of badly needed residential homes back into the market.
“If it does, it will mark an innovative and workable intervention that will bring back this type of builder who was the mainstay of Irish residential home building market in the past but who has been squeezed out by unviable interest rates from the pillar banks.
“If the terms are unrealistic and don’t take cognisance of market conditions for SME builders then the loan scheme will be superfluous and only benefit those who don’t actually need it, who would already be in a position to acquire funding from existing sources,” the Chief Executive warned.
Mr. Davitt said his organisation sincerely hopes the HBFI loan scheme would achieve the stated aim of the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy of surmounting the lack of access to debt funding for many smaller and medium sized builders and developers.