The number of landlords in Ireland with multiple properties increased last year for the first time since 2015.
There are now 178,000 individuals or other entities which are registered as owning two or more residential properties liable for Local Property Tax. Figures from Revenue show 2,000 more individuals and companies were added to the list during 2018 after acquiring an investment property.
The number of properties owned by landlords with two or more homes also rose in tandem in 2018 for the first time in three years — up 5,000 to 556,000 — in a sign that will be regarded as showing the attraction of the current housing market.
Landlords who own two properties still account for the vast majority of multiple property owners. There are 122,900 individuals registered as having two properties liable for LPT, representing 69% of all landlords with investment properties.
Revenue figures show there are around 3,000 individuals and companies which own over 10 houses or apartments, including 1,000 who own more than 100 properties each.
Landlords with largescale investment property portfolios consisting of over 200 properties are relatively few (Revenue do not provide an exact figure) but the number of properties they own grew by almost 10% in 2018.
Such landlords, which would include real estate investment trusts known as REITs, now own 31,200 housing units compared to 28,600 in 2017. IRES REIT is Ireland’s biggest residential landlord and owns more than 2,500 apartments in Dublin with annual rental income of €36m in 2017.
Labour senator, Kevin Humphreys, has recently claimed the growing trend of apartment blocks being bought up in their entirety by investment groups such as REITs and pension funds was becoming a problem, particularly in Dublin.
Young people who have done everything right – got an education, done their training, saved their 10% deposit — now find they cannot purchase a home in which to start their lives,” said Mr Humphreys. “This is a crying shame and is starting to become what I would call a real problem.
He called for a greater balance when it comes to professional landlords “in order that adequate rental accommodation would be available at affordable prices in our cities”.
The latest figures also show that 43% of all homeowners agreed with Revenue about the estimate of the valuation band of their property following the introduction of LPT in 2013.
Among the remainder 41% returned a lower valuation band and 13% claimed Revenue had underestimated the value of their property.
Meanwhile, the Independent Alliance has said it will ‘vehemently oppose’ any suggestions of an increase in Local Property Tax in 2020.
“We have made our opposition to any increase absolutely clear in our submission on the Local Property Tax Review.
“That opposition will remain, whatever the findings of the upcoming review.
“No homeowner, large or small, merits any further penalty for owning their own house,” the Alliance said in a statement adding that they would favour waivers for vulnerable homeowners, including the disabled and senior citizens on fixed incomes.