Newton Emerson: amount of money trying to get into property is doomed to swamp supply

Investors, landlords and owner-occupiers may all wish they had shared when they had the chance

Speaking in the Dáil, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, “we do not want institutional investors competing with first-time buyers. Our priority is first-time buyers.” Video: Oireachtas

It is not only happening in the Republic. A friend from Portadown reports that houses in the Co Armagh town have started selling to cash buyers from England, sight unseen, within hours of being advertised online. Unlike recent stories from Dublin, there is no sign that these buyers are agents for overseas funds or individuals. They appear to be small-time landlords from their own part of the UK or just ordinary people with some cash to invest, browsing property websites. For the moment, this is causing more incredulity than anger in Portadown. That will change once everyone realises they can no longer buy a place to live.

The political left, with dramatic flourish, refers to Ireland’s housing market being drenched by ‘the fire hose of global capital’. The garden hose of English savings reveals the intractability of the problem.

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