With the property market now well and truly in the doldrums the housing industry is lining up to bring the minister for finance onside in the December budget.
The new CIF boss Tom Parlon will be heading a posse into Government Buildings today to try and get some concessions on the stamp duty issue. Parlon has told the Government that the stamp duty take on housing transactions is falling and will fall even further because of a collapse in confidence.
The serious shortfall in revenue is already evident in the Government accounts and, if stamp duty is not cut next month, the take will dwindle further. Meanwhile, all the serious investment is being pumped into overseas markets where Irish investors believe they can cash-in on buoyant markets that will deliver big capital gains and good rental returns. The penal 9 per cent stamp duty was all very well when values were rising rapidly but that is all over for the moment, and if anything prices have been falling in many areas.
The building industry is also to warn the minister about the flight of capital out of the commercial market because of high stamp duty. Builders are generally hopeful that Mr Cowen will give a little because of the threat to jobs and the exchequer, never mind the long faces of the delegation who will be trotting into the Department of Finance over the coming weeks.