Raw deal for Limerick people looking to get on the property ladder

LIMERICK Aontú representative Eric Nelligan has voiced concern following the confirmation that very large portions of housing estates are being bulk purchased in advance, denying private owners the chance to purchase a home.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, Mr Nelligan pointed out that 40 per cent of properties in two almost complete housing estates in Castletroy have been purchased for social housing. In one of the estates, he said, not one of the 222 houses will be available for private purchase.

“What we now know is that 57 per cent of properties sold in Limerick last year were bought by ‘non-household’ entities. This figure comes from stamp duty filings researched by Limerick Chamber. These non-household entities were primarily State bodies buying social housing, REIT investment funds are also examples, but they are not active in the city,” Nelligan commented.

The Castletroy campaigner also hit out at State agencies bulk purchasing these properties, saying they are doing so contrary to government measures.

“In May 2021 the government announced a 10 per cent levy on purchases of 10 or more residential properties over a 12-month period. This was designed to prevent distortion of the market and not to fuel house price growth. A review of the law last year revealed that the measures are certainly welcome in terms of preventing bulk buying by institutional investors, a further review of their impact will be required.”

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He continued: “There is a real and genuine concern that an unbalanced mix of households will have a long-term detrimental effect on the estates. We’ve been told for years now that having a mix of household types is the best model for social cohesion, there are few people complaining when private estates have 10-20% of the properties set aside, most people understand and agree that it is right and proper for private, social, affordable, renters and other house type to all live together.

“Our city has a past where poor planning has led to social problems in the years that followed, we’ve spent the best part of the last decade and €400million trying to undo these planning disasters, when are we tempting faith again.

“I feel sorry all the young people, couples, families, and workers who are being denied the chance to purchase a house. The perception exits that middles classes are getting a raw deal again.”