Dáil set to tackle cuckoo funds over buy-to-rent

Dáil set to tackle cuckoo funds over buy-to-rent

Local authorities could be given new powers to force developers to ring-fence a third of all homes for first-time buyers in a bid to stop “cuckoo fund” investment firms snapping up large chunks of the market.

Fianna Fáil housing spokesman Darragh O’Brien is expected to table a bill seeking the strict new rules tomorrow amid growing concern over the influence of “buy-to-rent” investment firms in this country.

According to official Government figures, just under 18,000 new homes were built last year in Ireland. However, of these new units, Fianna Fáil has said almost 3,000 were bought by investment firms.

The party has claimed the situation means that while the official figures suggest enough houses are being built, the real number of homes available for individual house-hunters is far lower than suggested.

And, in a bid to address the issue and help ensure homes are made available to genuine house-hunters, it will call on TDs to back tomorrow’s plans to limit the influence of such buy-to-rent investment firms.

“We want to give local authorities the power to designate 30% of any new development for first-time buyers,” Fianna Fáil housing spokesperson Darragh O’Brien told the Irish Examiner.

I’m aware of one cuckoo fund buying up to 500 of 700 properties in a development in Carrickmines in Dublin, a similar situation in Walkinstown in Dublin, and what that is doing is squeezing the market for individual people

Mr O’Brien was speaking before taking part in a debate on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics on Sunday, during which Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy admitted “people are being pinned to their collar, and it’s not fair”.

Housing is likely to play a key role in the next general election, with the latest Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll over the weekend placing Fianna Fáil on 29% (down 1pp), Fine Gael 26%, Sinn Féin 20% (up 6pp), Greens 5% (down 2pp), Labour 3% (down 2pp), Solidarity-PBP 1% (down 1pp), and the Social Democrats 1%.

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