SOLUTION TO THE HOUSING CRISIS
(IT’s claimed we) have a housing crisis in Ireland. We do NOT! We have a crisis with houses. We have far too many empty houses. The last CSO survey in 2016 had 182,547 empty homes in Ireland, with over 30K empty in the Greater Dublin area alone. The number has certainly gone up. The reason is that the owners have no incentive to restore these properties and rent them out as they will pay 55% tax on any profits. They would rather sit on their hands and hope for capital appreciation. Yes, some have been empty for so long they just need to be knocked down but there is an awful lot that could be brought back into the market.
Solution – all we have to do is change the tax code!
- Give property owners a tax break for five years on any property that has been vacant for more than 12 months. If they bring it back into rental, they will only pay 5% tax on the profits, 5% more revenue than the government is getting at the moment.
- Creates employment in the local areas.
- Gets rid of eye sores
- More local government revenue
How to help young people get on the property market?
The government, instead of building new houses, should offer 50% co-ownership to first time buyers who are buying an existing home. The government would buy half the house and the young first time home owners buy the other half. They would only have to come up with half the size of a deposit. When they sell the house, the government would gain from the capital appreciation on their 50%.
Again, this would bring a lot of empty homes onto the market. They would have to be renovated – THUS creating employment.
Both these schemes would significantly reduce the demand for rentals in Dublin, driving rental prices down. Both these schemes simply require changing the tax laws and would have an immediate impact!