'Help to Hoard' - How Government made the Housing Crisis


In the current edition of the construction industry magazine PassiveHousePlus there is an excellent article by Mel Reynolds outlining the deliberate policies that have been introduced by the Fine Gael government to encourage hoarding of land and ensure that only a paltry supply of new housing would be made available. Some of us here have been pointing these policies out for years but it is good to see that they are finally getting a more widespread airing.

I would urge everyone with an interest in the Irish and UK property sector to subscribe to this magazine.

Capital Gains Tax Exemption 2012.
Section 604A of the 2012 was brought in to encourage the sale of sites by NAMA at fire-sale prices and the hoarding of those sites for 7 years in order to avail of a zero rated Capital Gains Tax.
Only 8800 new units have been constructed since then.

Vacant Site Levy Tax 2016
Posponed until 2019, and when they are finally introduced they will be easy to minimise by structuring the funding appropriately. Ideally designed to allow land hoarders to benefit fully from the 2012 CGT exemption.

Capital Gains Exemption 2016
Section 739k of the 2016 Planning Act is a further five year CGT exemption to encourage the hoarding and non use of development land. The 5 year period starts from the date of purchase and is designed to prevent a glut of property from undermining values at the end of the 2012-2019 scheme. Revenue commented that this would act as a “lock on the residential market”.

Planning and Development (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2017
The ‘don’t use it, don’t lose it’ bill. It allows 10-12 year old planning permissions to be extended further with no pressure on the land owner or developer to actually build.

That’s a rough summary of the article. Worth reading the original.

The only sector of society that benefit from these policies are land speculators and landlords. Tenants and young couples seeking to enter the market are being completely screwed, and because the policies are distorting the market to such a massive degree ultimately they are unsustainable and this bubble will burst.


Good post


Do you have a link to the original article ?


No, subscription only. Available in all good bookshops.


I only frequent bad ones. :frowning:


An article from an architect is no different than an article from an EA. They are both vested interests.

I have some direct experience with the planning laws having brought a number of development sites in the last few months. Planning permission lasts five years unless the previous owner applies for an extension which if granted will extend the planning for a further 5 years.

Re-applying for planning permission is no joke given the fees I am paying to architects.


Jesus Christ
I saw this good post this morning and I thought to myself ‘I bet that FG vested interest shill Luan is going to find something to post’. Do you never get embarrassed by yourself ?


+1 You could add to this the government driven Nama policy of selling in bulk to international property fund landlords and the governments own REIT legislation. Both of which encourage concentration of property ownership.


Surely REITs dilute property ownership? As an asset class they are popular with pension funds.



Mel Renyolds is an architect - a profession that is one of the prime beneficiaries of an increase in building volumes. As such he is a vested interest.

For the avoidance of doubt, I have never voted for FG :slight_smile: Also I am in no way embassed by my postings on the pin.


You are trying to obfuscate and change the subject, that’s what people do when they don’t like the OP.

The facts in the post speak for themselves that at the same time as denouncing homelessness and houselessness in general, the govt has taken measures to further incentivise land hoarding.

If you can speak to this specifically and give evidence why it’s not the case then please do so. If you will post irrelevant comments then please stop.


I’m guessing this isn’t what the article says. The writer seems to make reasonable arguments otherwise so wouldn’t have implied that NAMA was encouraged to sell at fire-sale prices. I’ll take a stab that the original would be along the lines of “Section 604A of the 2012 was brought in to encourage the purchase of sites at fire-sale prices”.

Do some people actually believe that NAMA was set up to fire-sale assets? As in the exact opposite of what it was designed to do? Any chance the original poster could post the sentence used?

Also selling property assets at below 2007 prices is not neccesarily a fire-sale.


^ this is semantics really. The CGT exemption encouraged “transactions” during a fixed period by incentivising hoarding by new purchasers. So good for purchasers good for sellers who wanted out quick.

And which sellers wanted out quick ? Nama policy change due to FG and Troika. What Nama was “designed to do” is as irrelevant now as say the Green party’s reasons for going into government in 2007. What they actually were told to do matters. Brian Lenihan’s treacherous dissembling about what Nama would do when up and running is just a footnote in history, used to get it over the line in the Dáil


Government acting in a way such as to provide large benefits to a few with the cost widely dispersed across the population should surprise no-one. This is the likely consequence when government controlled entities such as NAMA are created to intervene in the housing market and overall economy. This tends to happen with or without any long term strategy on the part of the ruling party but simply due to the massive rewards possible from government lobbying.

Below is a quote that illustrates the “concentrated benefits and diffuse costs” concept.


ok I have to take issue with some of this,

In particular the Capital Gains Tax Exemption 2012 was introduced to encourage people to buy Irish property so if this wasnt introduced then we would have even more oversea purchases and a bigger property crash. We can’t undoo this this but we could introduce taxation to re-balance.

Certainly not affording occupiers have first refusal on any name sale is unforgivable given our history of the land league. NAMA was needed but poorly run.

We also need to stop the blame of the past mistakes and push for policies that deliver for individuals. A proper property tax is required, one that favours owner occupiers firstly foremost and secondly those that introduce deliver new builds or social housing.

owner occupation is the best way to share wealth and stop the state having to pay the rents for citizens.


Actually govt policy in relation to housing helps a lot of people far more than “a few” most of them who live in Dublin and are rather rich by virtue of chance and how the government taxes the bejaysus of any other assets other than property.

There are people in Foxrock and other less expensive but that became fashionable areas like Portmarnock where a modest investment in the 1970s made people millionaires many times over by the tax relief given to housing.

If these people has put a fraction of the money into shares they would have been rogered by the tax man in relation to tax esp the CGT. Take a look at the exemptions on CGT on shares.

Sell a house that you bought for 15k for 1.5 million and pay no CGT. Do the same to shares and see how much the taxman gets.

The problem that a lot of people who moan and bitch about “vulture funds” live in very smart and expensive dwellings and have paid no additional tax on theses assets compared to those how haven’t the same assets. These were the cnuts who believed FFs 1977 Manifesto and voted for jam tomorrow and facilitated the removal of household rates.

You have the same oul ones on the radio bitching why their children can’t live around the corner from them and why those who have no houses should pay for their nursing home fees.

These homeowners were around in the 1990s to benefit from the removal of 3rd level fees and now want others to leave them in their expensive houses while expecting that the working population should pay for their keep in a nursing home.


Is there any mathematician on here who can work out how many posts on average it takes for Sinn Fein being blamed for something. Like you’re only ever 10 feet from a rat or something. It’s gas actually, all these people who think Ireland “needs new thinking”, but they return to default “Sinn Blaming” instinctively no matter what.


Where has anyone mentioned sinn fein ?


Certainly there are lots of net beneficiaries of the policies enacted by government but I don’t think any government really has a direct agenda to propagate advantage in a small section of the population. It seems far more likely that politicians just enact policies that are either in their own personal interest or are in the interest of lobbyists who contribute to them through various means. Where the interests of politicians and lobbyists intersect with the interests of a demographic of urban property owners those property owners will be advantaged but this is purely coincidental.
Any interaction with authority that I have had supports the view that the actions taken by government are a chaotic set of reactions to self-interest and expediency rather than steps to advance a coherent master plan of class warfare.


look at the [visceral] reaction to DoF proposal to end the CGT exemption for PPRs… even on fora with young “leftish” people [thejournal/reddit] it was met with a negative reaction. The IT were sneaky the way they substituted “family home” for PPR but they probably ddn’t have to. Did the AAA/SF/socDems/Labour row in behind the proposal? did they fuck

Similarly for the proposal to encourage people in nursing homes [paid for by the state] to rent out their empty homes “barbaric

somewhat off topic but Stephen Collins has put his head above the parapet in the Irish Times today; there’s no conspiracy for a cabal- old people vote and they are selfish