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Plans To Prevent Investment Funds Block Buying Housing Estates Due before Cabinet

Proposals to restrict investment funds block buying new housing developments will go before cabinet ministers this morning.

The departments of finance and housing have been working on the measures following a public backlash to the selling off of an entire housing estate in Kildare. The government approach will come in two parts.
One is in planning, where a certain amount of new developments will be reserved for the private market.
Talks were still continuing last night as to whether this would be defined as first time buyers or owner occupiers.
This is to ring-fence a portion of developments that can't be bought by institutional investors.
However, it can only apply to new planning applications, which means it will be years before the impact of those changes will be felt.
The measures are likely to be added to the Affordable Housing Bill currently passing through the Oireachtas.
The second is the taxation side, where a hike in stamp duty for investment funds buying property has been considered.
Tax breaks on the profits such funds make through rent and the sale of property were also being examined.
But the government doesn't want to scare these funds off entirely, believing they have a role to play in the likes of apartment buildings.
So the restrictions on them will be linked to housing density, something that could prove tricky to quantify in new, mixed development estates where there are houses and apartments.


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