Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

16.09 16 Apr 2021


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The Government is examining reserving large portions of new-build estates for first time buyers in a bid to battle so-called 'cuckoo funds.'

Prospective buyers have found themselves frozen out of the market, as institutional investors buy up developments for build-to-rent properties.

Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien has confirmed to Newstalk work is underway to ringfence a certain amount of homes in new developments for first time buyers only.

Minister O'Brien said work is ongoing to establish how much of an estate or apartment block would be off-limits to investors.

Under a bill the minister published in 2019 while a member of the opposition, local authorities would have been allowed to designate up to 30% of a new development for first time buyers.

Minister O'Brien said said: "There's a role for investors within any housing market, but it has to be proportionate and it can't be at the expense of families and people securing a secure and stable home."

It comes on the back of news that the number of social and affordable homes in new estates is to be doubled.

Proposals are going to Cabinet in the coming weeks that will mandate builders to provide 10% of new developments to local authorities as social homes, and a further 10% as affordable housing.

The Part V provision was reduced to 10% in 2015 but will increase later this year.

The changes will apply to all developments that lodge planning permission requests after the date on which the regulations are changed.

However if builders with existing planning permissions do not begin development in a period of five years, the new system will also apply to them in a bid to avoid land hoarding.

Local authorities will not have to take the full 20% of any development and will be allowed to take the equivalent value on a smaller number of units.

This is in a bid to provide more affordable purchases to local authorities which have been offered properties at unsustainable prices.

The changes could see up to half of all new developments ringfenced for first time buyers and affordable and social housing.

Main image: Construction workers on scaffolding on the north side area of the Dublin Docklands. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

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Build-to-rent Properties Darragh O'Brien First-time Buyers Investors New Developments Prospective Buyers Ringfenced

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