Opinion: Every government has an option, and this one can decide to prohibit cuckoo funds from purchasing Irish real estate!

LARGE INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT FUND AND REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUSTS (REITs) – also known as cuckoo funds – are currently buying up houses and apartments in large quantities.  homes
As a result, costs are increasing and many people are unable to afford new homes.
According to the Construction Industry Federation, entities purchased 95 percent of new apartments in 2019, leaving just 5% for the general public. Individuals and couples would never be able to compete with these multibillion-euro assets.
As a result, an entire generation is being priced out of homeownership and forced to pay far higher rents to hedge funds than a mortgage.
Dublin's rents have nearly doubled in the last decade, making it the most expensive city in the European Union. As a result, Ireland is a very appealing choice for investment funds looking to maximize their profits. However, it also implies that it is unaffordable for people with average incomes to live there.
Entire tower blocks and properties have been purchased in one fell swoop. A good example is Herbert Hill in Dundrum, Dublin's southside. A German investor purchased the entire block of 90 apartments.
These apartments were subsequently rented to the local government for social housing at a rate of over €2,000 per month per apartment for a period of 25 years. This is a prohibitively costly method of providing housing for those who need it.
A more effective system is needed.
This does not have to be the case. Every government has to make decisions.
New Zealand's government has decided to exclude non-residents from purchasing homes in order to lower costs and increase the supply available to residents. The Overseas Investment Act of 2018 was enacted to help keep house prices from that too quickly.
Real Estate Investment Trusts are not allowed to buy residential property in Germany, according to the government. The German government made this decision in 2006 to ensure that large foreign investment funds will not be drawn to the purchase of homes and apartments.
Ireland's Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) regime was adopted by the Irish government in 2013. They've opted to please major foreign investors with favorable tax treatment at any opportunity since then. Rents have spiraled out of control as a result, allowing the housing crisis to continue.
What is our vision for housing in Ireland, we must ask? Is it one where vulture funds buy apartment buildings after apartment buildings and rent them out to tenants with little protection for record-high rents? Where potential first-time buyers are squeezed out when investors receive preferential tax treatment. When housing becomes a financial commodity rather than a simple need.
We have a decision to make.
This is the path that the new administration has set for us.
Ireland urgently requires a large supply of adequate, high-quality housing, with affordable rentals and mortgages, as well as the protection of tenure and the peace of mind that comes with having a place to call home. To do this, we must change the way we approach housing policy.
In Ireland, there are concrete examples of how homes can be built that are both affordable and available.
Cualann Cohousing Alliance is constructing homes in Dun Emer, Lusk, North County Dublin, ranging in price from €166,000 for a two-bedroom apartment to €258,000 for a three-bedroom semi-detached house.
This translates to a monthly mortgage payment of €698 for a two-bedroom apartment and €1,085 for a three-bedroom house over a 30-year span.
Cualann is constructing similar affordable housing in Cork City and Ardmore, County Waterford. These are excellent examples of affordable housing on public property, and they offer a blueprint that could and should be repeated across the world.
However, having a few small schemes like this strewn across the country isn't enough; in order to satisfy demand, the delivery of truly affordable homes must be scaled up dramatically.
The needs of first-time investors must take precedence over the interests of international vulture funds. The rights of tenants must be improved and protected. The government must redirect money away from developer incentives that inflate house prices and into more affordable purchase, rental, and social housing options.
We must think carefully about who should own Ireland's homes in particular. Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) should be prohibited from buying up residential property and pushing up rates, as Germany has done.
This would expand the number of homes available to first-time buyers who want to purchase a home and relieve some of the burden on the skyrocketing costs of renting and purchasing a home.

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