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Speaking at the Social Democrats’ online National Conference today, Housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan TD said:

“According to the ESRI, Central Bank mortgage lending rules have kept house prices 9% lower than they otherwise would have been. While there are prudent reasons for restrictions on mortgage lending, these are being undermined by a flood of investment into residential property by REITs and investment funds.

“New build apartments are completely out of reach for people on average incomes. Entire apartment schemes are being bought up by international investors and REITs. Due to quantitative easing, investment money is flowing into property which is pushing up prices. This is why we are seeing home prices increase during a global pandemic, despite many people losing their jobs and incomes.

“An entire generation are being locked out of home ownership and are then forced to pay rents to investment funds that are much higher than a mortgage. We cannot tolerate a situation where strict lending rules apply to households, while favourable tax treatment applies to investors and REITs.

“I’m calling on the Government to ban REITs from investing in residential property. This has been done successfully in Germany and has resulted in much more affordable rents and much better housing affordability.”

February 27, 2021

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