Thursday, 12 October 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
185. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the way in which the price of residential land and commercial land is tracked by his Department; and the measures used by his Department to track price inflation. [43274/17]
186. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the way in which concentration of ownership of residential land and commercial land is tracked by his Department; and the measures used by his Department to track this issue and prevent land oligopolies. [43275/17]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 and 186 together.
Information regarding the availability of residential zoned land is available on the Rebuilding Ireland Housing Land map. This is based on a national survey of all lands zoned for residential or primarily residential development in statutory local authority development plans and local area plans across Ireland, to determine the location and quantity of lands that may be regarded as being undeveloped and available for primarily residential development purposes. The Rebuilding Ireland map can be accessed at the following link: .
While my Department does not hold specific data regarding the ownership of residential and commercial land, the Property Registration Authority records the names and addresses of every registered land owner. The index is kept in respect of each county and can be accessed atwww.landdirect.ie.
Furthermore, information regarding the consideration paid and the details of the transfer of lands is maintained by the Revenue Commissioners from stamp duty returns filed relating to the transfer of land.
In the context of the current housing supply shortage, the Government recognises the pressing need to ensure that land, in urban areas in particular, that is suitable for the development of housing is not held back by developers. A range of measures are being implemented under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan to ensure that such land is brought forward for development at the earliest opportunity.
The vacant site levy, provided for in the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, is designed to incentivise the development of vacant and under-utilised sites in urban areas for housing and regeneration purposes. A 3% levy becomes liable for payment on such lands from January 2018. As announced in Budget 2018, the 3% levy rate which applies in the first year of the vacant site appearing on the register will be increased to 7% in year 2 and subsequent years, resulting in an effective vacant site levy of 10% over the first two years. Any levy outstanding will remain a charge on the land concerned until paid and therefore there will be a cumulative effect associated with not activating a site for development.
Furthermore, in order to address the issue of the hoarding of residentially zoned land, a number of amendments have been tabled in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2016, which is currently at Dáil Report Stage. The amendments proposed are collectively aimed at tightening up existing provisions to ensure that extensions of duration of planning permissions cannot be granted where substantial development work has not been carried out during the initial life of the permission, with a particular focus on housing developments.
In addition, in relation to commercial land purchased for the development of housing, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform signalled his intent to introduce a stamp duty refund scheme because of the housing supply challenge. The refund will be subject to certain conditions, including a requirement that developers will have to commence the relevant development within 30 months of the land purchase. The details in relation to this measure will be set out in the Finance Bill.
Rebuilding Ireland attaches a particular priority to using publicly owned lands for the delivery of housing as quickly as possible, supported by the acceleration in Exchequer-funded social housing and the delivery of more homes for sale and rent at lower and more affordable price points. All local authority housing sites and an initial set of broader State-owned sites have now been mapped and can be accessed at:
Local authorities and the Housing Agency are now preparing strategic development plans for the prioritised development of these sites.