New housing measures to come in at midnight, Donohoe tells Dáil

ireland
New Housing Measures To Come In At Midnight, Donohoe Tells Dáil
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Julien Behal
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Muireann Duffy

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said new measures aimed at deterring investment funds from buying large quantities of residential properties will come into effect at midnight tonight.

Mr Donohoe told the Dáil this evening that 10 per cent stamp duty will apply when a purchase of more than 10 houses is made within a year, however, there will be a three-month transition period for transactions that have started, but are not yet complete.

He confirmed the increased stamp duty will apply on a cumulative basis, meaning the higher rate will still be incurred if the purchased properties are in one development or spread across multiple estates, according to The Irish Times.

The Minister said the new measures will increase opportunities for individuals and families to buy homes, but opposition parties have criticised that the change will not apply to the bulk-purchasing of apartments.

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The higher rate will also not apply to acquisitions by local authorities and approved housing bodies.

In response, Sinn Féin introduced an amendment to have apartment purchases included, with Donegal TD Pearse Doherty saying the measures were filled with loopholes and "designed to fail".

Instead of giving the funds the red flag you have given them the green light

Mr Doherty also disagreed with Mr Donohoe's claim that apartments would not be built if they also carried the higher rate of stamp duty, adding the Minister had "hoisted the white flag over this city and say it’s a free for all for vulture funds".

"Instead of giving the funds the red flag you have given them the green light," Mr Doherty said.

Joint leader of the Social Democrats Róisín Shorthall also criticised the omission of apartments from the new measures, stating such developments accounted for a much higher percentage of the planning permissions granted last year.

The Irish Times also reports that in a letter to members of Fine Gael's parliamentary party, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he thinks the Government will need to re-examine the role of local authorities and approved housing bodies, given they will still be able to bulk-buy residential properties under the new initiative.

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