Residential Property Market: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Pearse Doherty on Tuesday, 11 May 2021:
That Dáil Éireann:
notes that:
— the housing crisis continues to spiral out of control;
— residential property prices have increased by 3 per cent in the 12 months to February;
— residential property prices have increased by 88.5 per cent since early 2013;
— high rents and residential property prices are making it increasingly difficult for workers, families and struggling home buyers to purchase and own their own home;
— institutional investors holding rental property avail of significant tax advantages and exemptions granted to them by the Government;
— these institutional investors include Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), introduced by the Fine Gael-led Government in the Finance Act 2013, and Irish Real Estate Funds (IREFs);
— REITs and IREFs pay no corporation tax on income from their property rental businesses;
— REITs and IREFs pay no capital gains tax accruing on the disposal of assets of their property rental businesses;
— institutional investors, including REITs and IREFs:
— enjoy tax advantages and exemptions that are distorting the housing market; and
— are displacing workers, families and struggling home buyers in the residential property market;
— institutional investors:
— have developed monopolistic and oligopolistic pricing power in local areas throughout the State, distorting rental and property markets to the detriment of workers, families and struggling home buyers; and
— are pricing average and low-income earners out of purchasing or renting from the private market;
— the displacement of workers, families and struggling first-time buyers, through the purchase of existing property in the residential market by institutional investors, has been taking place for several years;
— Government policies have facilitated, incentivised and encouraged the displacement of struggling home buyers by institutional investors in the residential property market;
— recent purchases of residential property by institutional investors in Mullen Park, Maynooth and Bay Meadows, Dublin, that have displaced workers, families and struggling home buyers, are a direct consequence of these policies; and
— investment by these institutional investors in the residential property market reached €1.2 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow in this and subsequent years without immediate policy intervention; and
calls on the Government to:
— introduce legislation to end the tax advantages and exemptions granted by the Government to institutional investors, including REITs and IREFs, in the residential property market;
— introduce legislation to impose a stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of residential property by institutional investors including REITs and Irish Real Estate Funds;
— direct the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to bring forward, as a matter of urgency, measures to restrict the activity of institutional investors in the residential property market and their displacement of workers, families and struggling home buyers from the market; and
— further direct the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to consider, as a matter of urgency, amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2000, introducing tenure type and mix as a matter of consideration in all future planning applications and approvals.
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
To delete all words after “Dáil Éireann” and substitute the following:
“notes that:
— the Government is fully committed to tackling high rents and ensuring an increase in the supply of affordable high quality rental accommodation through continued
significant capital investment, including Cost Rental and other means and in a manner that respects the security of tenure for renters by ensuring equity and fairness for landlords and tenants;
— the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004 to 2021 relating to Rent Pressure Zones are due to expire at the end of December, and the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage will bring forward comprehensive new protections for tenants, balanced with constitutional property rights in the coming months;
— the Government is committed to improving the security of tenure for tenants through legislating for tenancies of indefinite duration, subject to legal advices;
— the new Affordable Housing Bill 2020 sets out the legislative basis for Cost Rental for the first time in the history of the State;
— the first Cost Rental units will be delivered this year and significantly expanded by the Government over the coming years;
— the Government has increased funding and capacity for the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) to help further protect tenants, and the significant ongoing sustained funding provided to local authorities to inspect rental properties and the strong legislative framework under which they currently operate has made a positive contribution to supporting the ongoing improvement of standards and to ensuring the availability of an increasingly high quality stock of rental accommodation in Ireland;
— as per the commitment in the Programme for Government: Our Shared Future, the new whole-of-Government plan for housing ‘housing for all’, that the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage intends to publish later this year, will ensure that the provision of an adequate supply of high quality affordable rental accommodation remains a cornerstone of the Government’s policy under the plan; and
— the Government has provided, and will continue to provide, enhanced income supports and protections for tenants, particularly the most vulnerable tenants, that are necessary during this pandemic; and
— the Government keeps the operation of the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004 to 2021 under constant review and will make any necessary enhancement to the legal enforceability of RTB determination orders, in consultation with the RTB.
-(Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to the motion regarding the residential property market. On Tuesday, 11 May 2021, on the question that the amendment to the motion be agreed to, a division was claimed and in accordance with Standing Order 80(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 76; Níl, 63; Staon, 0.

  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Amendment declared carried.
Question put: "That the motion, as amended, be agreed to."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 75; Níl, 62; Staon, 0.

  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Carroll MacNeill, Jennifer.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Dillon, Alan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Higgins, Emer.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Níl

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Carthy, Matt.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Gould, Thomas.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Sherlock, Sean.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers; Níl, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.
Question declared carried.