A red carpet for ‘cuckoo funds’


Sir, – Micheál Martin is aghast at the news of the audacity of institutional investors purchasing the bulk of an estate of houses in Maynooth being made public this week. It is no surprise that they have made this move. Institutional investors have it made; sky-high rents, and for some, real-estate investment trusts (Reits) in particular, little if any tax on that income. This paper noted previously that €89 million profit was made by one Reit in 2019 with not one cent paid in tax on it. There is no fairness or equality in this situation, merely a motivation for profit, with the average person paying for it.

We are also seeing a lack of supply to the market in terms of purchase options, with in some cases bids on second-hand properties going up by the tens of thousands in a single bid. It is very familiar for those of us who bought in the middle part of the last decade, and we all know how that ended. It’ll be “different this time”, but there is always a shock down the road and many people will find themselves put to the pin of their collar once more.

Perhaps the best and easiest way to prevent this sort of dominance in the market is to charge significant taxes on their earnings, such as a private landlord would pay. This money can be put back into the society in which they operate as well as being apportioned to social and other housing investments. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.

Sir, – The proposed sale of a new housing development consisting of 170 homes to a so-called international cuckoo fund, combined with the existing ownership of large tranches of apartments in Dublin under similar ownership, will surely be viewed by many as a return to the old Ireland where the landlords, prior to the passing of the Wyndham Land Acts, owned and controlled all the land in the country.

The roots of this housing crises can be traced back to the financial crash when these cuckoo funds, in an attempt to bailout the banks, were welcomed by the State with open arms. Do we want this open-arms Government policy to continue and does the Government no longer look on home ownership as an attainable aim for our young people? Lessons will therefore have to be learned by Government from our history if it wants our young people to have a level playing field when it comes to purchasing their first homes. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – The recent purchase of a housing estate in Maynooth by Round Hill Capital is nothing short of a national scandal. It’s outrageous to think that young people starting out in life trying to get a home are having their future snatched away by investment companies. I am actually sickened by the response of our Government! It seems to be siding with these cuckoo funds to the detriment of our young Irish citizens. The same citizens that vote these parties in – and out!

Imagine having to work for 40 to 50 years of your life and never being able to own the roof over your head, paying taxes for all those years while these companies pay little or no tax. Whatever you do, don’t get old or get a life-changing illness.

Germany has seen the bigger picture and pulled up the drawbridge on these aggressive funds but our Government seems to have rolled out the red carpet instead. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 17.

Sir, – A letter writer (Letters, May 5th) asks whether the business of the development of houses is economic given the costs involved.

An article on Ireland’s leading home builder (“Cairn Homes investors urged to reject chief executive share bonus plan”, Business, May 6th) notes that the chief executive’s total remuneration recently halved to €520,000 and where the chief financial officer was paid €510,000. Seems economic enough to me. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – Round Hill Capital hopes to hoover up 170 homes and will pay no tax on rents, no capital gains tax on selling and no stamp duty. Am I missing something? At least when Cromwell came marauding there was a suggestion that people could at least head west. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – Why does the Government persist in using the private sector to build social and affordable housing rather than supporting housing associations or local authorities to do so?

Not only would construction probably be substantially cheaper but most importantly it would ensure that these housing stocks remained in public hands. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – In relation to corporate landlords funding and buying new housing developments, I think the Government might well reflect on the oft-quoted phrase, “Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it.” – Yours, etc,



Co Galway.