Cian O'Callaghan TD

Two years ago a vulture fund described Ireland as “the gift that keeps on giving”

The block purchase of 135 homes in a new development in Kildare is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to investment funds hoovering up housing supply, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesman Cian O’Callaghan.

“The same REIT that block-bought an entire estate in Mullen Park in Maynooth also recently acquired 297 apartments in Northwood in North Dublin and 112 family homes in Hollystown, Dublin 15. That REIT has a €1 billion war chest to make property acquisitions in Ireland. First-time buyers, who have scrimped and saved for deposits, don’t stand a chance.

“Other investment funds are also swooping in and purchasing homes en masse – some that have been constructed and others straight from plans. House prices are already increasing, because of depressed construction due to covid lockdowns. The intervention of these funds is driving prices even higher – and out of the reach of ordinary buyers.

“Two years ago a vulture fund described Ireland as “the gift that keeps on giving” – and nothing has changed in the interim. Most particularly, the tax incentives and preferential tax rates, which apply to investment funds and supercharge their profits, remain the same. The government has no plans to change them. In fact, it actively encourages their use.

“Members of Fianna Fáil have been wringing their hands about the intervention of investment funds in the housing market. Someone should remind them that Fianna Fáil holds the Housing portfolio in this government. Talk is cheap. It’s time to act.

“Housing is a human right – not an investment opportunity. I am calling on the government to change the tax incentive schemes that give these investment funds preferential treatment. Legislation, to stop funds from buying entire housing developments, also urgently needs to be introduced.

4 May, 2021


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