Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (67)

Cian O'Callaghan


67. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Finance if consideration is being given to the impact of housing affordability when the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund decides to invest in residential property; if analysis on the impact on residential property prices is being carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7574/21]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) that it has, to date, committed €937 million to housing related investments which are targeting delivery of 15,000 new homes by 2025. This is a very substantial contribution to new housing output.

As a commercial investor on behalf of the State, ISIF takes a broad range of factors, including affordability, into consideration in advance of making a new investment.

However, to be clear, all ISIF investments in the residential sector are aimed at increasing new housing construction and accelerating the delivery of new homes to the market and therefore helping affordability.

ISIF’s housing investment programme in particular prioritises areas where funding gaps are most acute, for example in the starter home and rental markets, and leverages third party capital to optimise the impact it can make in these areas. ISIF’s direct investments have crowded in over €2.5 billion of third party co-investment for new housing supply.

In this way, ISIF is helping to close the gap between supply and demand, which, as the Deputy is aware, is the primary factor in terms of availability and affordability in the housing market.

Whilst ISIF’s portfolio tends to mirror the areas where the market is active and viable, its key differential is its ability to take early-leadership roles in segments where capital gaps exist, in order to encourage other capital. For example, ISIF is now recycling capital from its early investment in Activate Capital, now a major lender for new home construction, to help address funding gaps for residential development in other areas.