A full ban on investment funds buying up residential property is being considered, according to the Housing Minister.
However, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said an outright ban would be wrong and such funds have a place in Ireland.
Invited into Ireland by tax breaks from Michael Noonan in the last decade, investment funds buying up housing here is nothing new.
However, the purchase of a full estate of houses in County Kildare has triggered a backlash.
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien says that’s not the place of funds, and while they may have some role in developing apartments, the government is going to take action, noting “Buying up family homes from under the nose of first time buyers is unacceptable so whatever measures are then needed to take place, up to and including a ban, I’m open to looking at”.
However, Fine Gael Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said such funds drive development and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also doesn’t support a full ban saying “What I think is ideological and ideologically extreme that we should have outright bans on some forms of housing and outright bans on some forms of housing investment and I think that would be a mistake”.
This has the potential to drive the first major wedge between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil since they entered government.
Ministers O’Brien and Donohoe are working to come to a solution that will likely involve reserving a portion of new developments for first-time buyers.
Those plans are set to come forward next week but the Housing Minister has stressed the tax breaks for such investment funds have to change.