The average house price in Galway now stands at €245,000 - the highest of any city in the State outside Dublin - and a 8.9 per cent increase in house prices compared with the same time last year.
The figures are contained in a new report on the current state of the property market by MyHome.ie, in partnership with the Davy Group. Reacting to the figures, Sinn Féin Galway city councillor Mairéad Farrell said they revealed that the "housing market is out of reach for a significant amount of families and individuals across Galway".
She also said the Galway figures revealed the "failure" of the Government’s 'Help to Buy' scheme. The report states that €43 million has already been spent on the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, and according to Cllr Farrell this means the annual cost of the scheme could now exceed the €50 million first estimated.
The Galway City East councillor said there was "an onus on the State to roll out affordable housing schemes", pointing out how Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said the State could build a social home for an average cost of €191,000. In response, Cllr Farrell said: "If council homes can be built for €191,000, they can be sold for between €200,000 and €210,000" - €45,000 to €35,000 less than the average price, while still allowing the State to make a profit.
She said the Government must abandon its reliance on the market and private developers to solve the accommodation crisis, as developers, despite Government incentives, "have shown they do not want to build affordable homes". Instead, Cllr Farrell said, the Government should actively "step in and start funding local authority-led mixed tenure developments" which includes social and affordable homes for sale and rent.