Government challenged to ‘shout stop’ to ‘cuckoo funds’ buying entire estates

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Government challenged to ‘shout stop’ to ‘cuckoo funds’ buying entire estates


Dara Calleary (Niall Carson/PA)
Dara Calleary (Niall Carson/PA)

THE government has been challenged to “shout stop” to so-called ‘cuckoo funds’ buying entire housing estates and competing with prospective homeowners.

Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary made the call asking Tánaiste Simon Coveney if the situation is fair and if the government is happy to consign people to a “lifetime of rent” or a “commute from hell”.

Mr Coveney said the solution to the issue is increased supply in the housing market.

Mr Calleary said that an Irish Independent report on Real Estate Investment Trusts (Reits) or ‘cuckoo funds’ buying 3,000 homes last year made for “chilling reading”.

He argued that such purchases deprive people of the chance to get on the home ownership ladder and force them to travel longer distances to work.

He said Reits are incentivised through Ireland’s tax law.

He asked Mr Coveney if he agreed it’s “time to shout stop” and for the “modus operandi “of the funds to buy entire developments to be curtailed.

Mr Coveney said the government is trying to increase supply in the housing market.

He said large commercial landlords providing a professional service at a “fair and affordable” price is part of ensuring a better rental market.

“I think there is a role for investment funds to invest in the rental market in particular to increase supply significantly over short space of time which is what we need to do.”

He said government needs to be careful thought to constantly monitor the role and the impact of outside investment in the property market to ensure it’s proportionate and adding positively to increasing supply.

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Mr Coveney said the government supports home ownership and wants to make sure that people can afford to buy homes close to where they’re working.

He said: “I think the answer to this is to increase supply significantly but also obviously to constantly assess the appropriate legislative protections that are needed to make sure that the contribution of international funds to increasing supply is as it should be”.

Mr Calleary asked if it was fair that a fund could buy entire estates even in cases where people had paid booking deposits.

He asked: “Is that good competition? Are you happy to consign people to a lifetime of rent, a lifetime of scrimping and saving or to a commute from hell?”

Mr Coveney said: “I don’t think it’s either one or the other.

“Of course the priority here needs to be a homeowner or the person looking to get affordable rent.

“That’s what this is all about, not facilitating profits for international funds that want to come to Ireland to invest in a property market that’s evolving or changing.”

He said what the government is also trying to do is “ensure that there is investment, to ensure that we increase the professionalism of landlords”.

Online Editors


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