Private developers have been accused by Sinn Féin of having “overwhelmed” and “price scrutiny” the Dublin City Council (DCC) for social housing developments.

In a report released Monday, the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) said the cost of building two-bed apartments in urban areas of Dublin is now between € 219,000 and € 262,000.

The calculation was based on data from 49 developments in Dublin over the past year.

However, the numbers circulated last month by DCC Vice Chairman Brendan Kenny showed that the local council was being charged an average of € 100,000 more to build its social housing projects.

The council’s figures relating to social housing projects carried out on their own land in 2018 and 2019 show that it averaged between 303,636 and .303,636 in six separate projects, which comprised either a mix of houses and apartments or apartments 372,842 euros building costs were calculated only for apartments.

The Council’s figures also show that fees were significantly higher for fees.

In its report, the SCSI estimated the fees associated with building two-bed apartments in Dublin at EUR 18,000 to EUR 21,000.

However, DCC was charged between € 44,027 and € 54,062 for fees associated with its projects.

“Private developers are now charging Dublin City Council € 100,000 more to build apartments in the city center than the private sector itself,” said Eoin Ó Broin, spokesman for Sinn Féin.

This raised the prospect of some kind of “price cut,” he added.

Dublin City Council said last night: “All of our construction projects go through a thorough public procurement process in accordance with EU and national regulations. At the end of this process, the most economical tender for the implementation of the project will be selected. “

While admitting that both sets of numbers covered a variety of different projects with different design specifications, Mr. Ó Broin said the difference in cost was sufficient to cause concern.

He said Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien needed to investigate why the bid prices for DCC are so high and “why DCC appears to be charged significantly more than the private sector for similar developments.”

“If the taxpayer wants to spend more and more money on public housing, we need to know that the taxpayer is getting good value for money,” said Ó Broin.

Procurement rules

Commenting on DCC’s numbers being distributed to city councils, Kenny said current procurement rules are limited and this could affect competition for construction contracts.

“Many builders do not apply for public works contracts due to their complexity and the supervision that the city council performs on construction sites,” he said, noting that this often narrowed the area where increased competition could result in better prices.

In its report, SCSI said the cost to deliver a two-bed apartment in Dublin ranged from € 359,000 for a low rise unit in the suburbs to € 619,000 for a high rise unit in the city center.

The figures, based on data obtained from 49 developments in Dublin over the past year, suggest that the brick and mortar element, or construction cost alone, accounted for less than half (47 percent) of the total delivery cost.

The so-called “soft” construction costs – land, development fees, fees, VAT, developer margins – made up the rest.