More land­lords have mul­ti­ple prop­er­ties

Irish Examiner - - News - Seán McCárthaigh

The num­ber of land­lords in Ire­land with mul­ti­ple prop­er­ties in­creased last year for the first time since 2015.

There are now 178,000 in­di­vid­u­als or other en­ti­ties which are reg­is­tered as own­ing two or more res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties li­able for Lo­cal Prop­erty Tax. Fig­ures from Rev­enue show 2,000 more in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies were added to the list dur­ing 2018 after ac­quir­ing an in­vest­ment prop­erty.

The num­ber of prop­er­ties owned by land­lords with two or more homes also rose in tan­dem in 2018 for the first time in three years — up 5,000 to 556,000 — in a sign that will be re­garded as show­ing the at­trac­tion of the cur­rent hous­ing mar­ket.

Land­lords who own two prop­er­ties still ac­count for the vast ma­jor­ity of mul­ti­ple prop­erty own­ers. There are 122,900 in­di­vid­u­als reg­is­tered as hav­ing two prop­er­ties li­able for LPT, rep­re­sent­ing 69% of all land­lords with in­vest­ment prop­er­ties.

Rev­enue fig­ures show there are around 3,000 in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies which own over 10 houses or apart­ments, in­clud­ing 1,000 who own more than 100 prop­er­ties each.

Land­lords with largescale in­vest­ment prop­erty port­fo­lios con­sist­ing of over 200 prop­er­ties are rel­a­tively few (Rev­enue do not pro­vide an ex­act fig­ure) but the num­ber of prop­er­ties they own grew by al­most 10% in 2018.

Such land­lords, which would in­clude real es­tate in­vest­ment trusts known as REITs, now own 31,200 hous­ing units com­pared to 28,600 in 2017. IRES REIT is Ire­land’s big­gest res­i­den­tial land­lord and owns more than 2,500 apart­ments in Dublin with an­nual rental in­come of €36m in 2017.

Labour se­na­tor, Kevin Humphreys, has re­cently claimed the grow­ing trend of apart­ment blocks be­ing bought up in their en­tirety by in­vest­ment groups such as REITs and pen­sion funds was be­com­ing a prob­lem, par­tic­u­larly in Dublin.

“Young peo­ple who have done ev­ery­thing right – got an ed­u­ca­tion, done their train­ing, saved their 10% de­posit — now find they can­not pur­chase a home in which to start their lives,” said Mr Humphreys. “This is a cry­ing shame and is start­ing to be­come what I would call a real prob­lem.”

He called for a greater bal­ance when it comes to pro­fes­sional land­lords “in or­der that ad­e­quate rental ac­com­mo­da­tion would be avail­able at af­ford­able prices in our cities”.

The lat­est fig­ures also show that 43% of all home­own­ers agreed with Rev­enue about the es­ti­mate of the valu­a­tion band of their prop­erty fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of LPT in 2013.

Among the re­main­der 41% re­turned a lower valu­a­tion band and 13% claimed Rev­enue had un­der­es­ti­mated the value of their prop­erty.

Mean­while, the In­de­pen­dent Al­liance has said it will ‘ve­he­mently op­pose’ any sug­ges­tions of an in­crease in Lo­cal Prop­erty Tax in 2020.

“We have made our op­po­si­tion to any in­crease ab­so­lutely clear in our sub­mis­sion on the Lo­cal Prop­erty Tax Re­view.

“That op­po­si­tion will re­main, what­ever the find­ings of the up­com­ing re­view.

“No home­owner, large or small, mer­its ay fur­ther penalty for own­ing their own house,” the Al­liance said in a state­ment adding that they would favour waivers for vul­ner­a­ble home­own­ers, in­clud­ing the dis­abled and se­nior cit­i­zens on fixed in­comes.

Labour se­na­tor Kevin Humphreys: ‘Grow­ing trend of apart­ment blocks be­ing bought up by in­vest­ment groups be­com­ing a prob­lem’.

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