Families who are already "priced out" of the housing market face spiralling property prices with no moves by the Government to tackle affordability, Fianna Fáil has claimed.

Housing spokesman Barry Cowen made the remarks after an ESRI report predicted house prices would go up 20pc over the next three years.

Mr Cowen argued that the Government hadn't addressed the issue of affordability. "There's a whole cohort of people that can't get on a social housing list, they can't afford a mortgage, they can't afford rent, and there is no scheme specifically tailored to meet their needs," he said.

Mr Cowen said he viewed a range of €140,000 to €200,000 as affordable housing, in contrast to the Government which he said had put the figure at €300,000.

He suggested the creation of an SSIA-style savings scheme that would help people save for deposits as one measure that could be taken.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar later told the Dáil the Government was taking steps on affordability but that the "fundamental underlying problem is a lack of supply". He said hundreds of millions in funding was being provided for infrastructure to make development sites accessible. "There is a requirement as part of this that a significant number of the units be affordable," he said. He also pointed to a Budget measure to establish of a new agency to make it easier for builders to get finance.