Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has said he will share proposals later this week to prevent first-time buyers competing with large investment funds for houses.
He said there would be discussion of the issue at tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting and he may bring an outline of options under consideration, but there will be no decision.
Mr O’Brien said he was looking at all the options and would share details in the coming days.
The Government has been under pressure to curb the activities of large investment funds in the housing market, after it emerged that one investment trust had bought most of a new housing estate in Maynooth, Co Kildare.
Mr O’Brien said today that he has been looking at a solution on the planning side while the Department of Finance is examining curbing tax incentives.
He said: “We know this is important. We need to try to resolve it and we need to ensure the measures we bring forward are doable and will have a positive impact to making sure we don’t have first-time buyers competing with large investment buyers.”
Asked why the Government has taken so long to act, Mr O’Brien said he had flagged the problem a few weeks ago and proposals were worked on over the weekend.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said today that a solution would be ready “within weeks”.
He told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the Government is examining “options on tax by making the tax treatment of investment funds less favourable and options on planning laws in limiting the number of purchases any one entity can make”.
It is understood the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will not be bringing specific proposals to Cabinet tomorrow.
Last week he told an Oireachtas committee that he was considering whether the current structure of the tax code offered an additional incentive for the purchase of already built homes.
Sinn Féin will maintain the pressure on the Government by debating a private members’ motion tomorrow calling on it to restrict the activity of institutional investors in the residential property market.
The party is calling for the ending of tax advantages for Real Estate Investment Trusts and Irish Real Estate Funds by introducing legislation to impose a stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of residential property.
It is also calling for amendments to the Planning and Development Act to introduce tenure type and mix as a matter of consideration in all future planning applications.