Friday, 16 July 2021
Finance (Local Property Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages
Paschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
There are three points on this. It is worthwhile considering the dimension of this debate, which is that individuals or companies may own large groups of homes and properties but this is because they have built them. If they did not own them these properties would not be built. If supply is part of how we respond to the great challenges we have in housing, it poses the issue that we may find the reason companies, funds or individuals own a larger group of properties is exactly because they built them with a view to owning them.
On the interesting and important point the Senator makes regarding understanding better the patterns of ownership in our society, the data already exist. They are published by the Revenue Commissioners in the statistics section of their website. Much of the information the Senator is looking for is publicly available. At present, there are 177,000 property owners who own two or more properties. The statistics available to us are based on the categories of two properties, three to five properties, six to ten properties, 11 to 20 properties, 21 to 50 properties , 51 to 100 properties, 101 to 200 properties and 201 properties and above. The published figures indicate that in 2020, 100 persons owned between 101 and 200 properties and no owner had more than 200 properties. Local authorities and approved housing bodies are excluded from this.
The Senator in her contribution said there are investment funds that own hundreds of thousands of properties in Ireland. There are not. There is an ongoing debate regarding the role of investment funds and the contribution they make to the ownership and the supply of properties but it is not based on the fact that they own hundreds of thousands of properties in Ireland. Nonetheless-----