According to new data, the number of properties bulk-bought by investors has climbed dramatically in the last three years, despite an additional 10% levy imposed by funds to discourage the activity.
Minister for Finance Michael McGrath provided Sinn Féin's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty with data indicating that 623 houses were purchased by 16 investors in 2023, resulting in €22 million in stamp duty.
The figure represents a 71% increase in the number of homes purchased compared to 2022, when 395 were purchased by 15 investors for €14.3 million in stamp duty.
It represents a 233% increase over 2021, the year the surcharge tax was imposed. That year, 16 investors purchased 187 residences, paying an additional €4.7 million in stamp duty.
The additional tax requires investment funds that purchase more than ten residential units to pay a 10% stamp duty.
In his parliamentary reply, Minister McGrath stated that it is now impossible to establish the number of newly built residences for whom the 10% stamp duty tax has been paid.
"In some cases it may have been charged on the sale of second-hand properties or properties sold by one institutional investor to another such investor."
Mr Doherty stated, "Three years ago, we informed the Government that their policies would not work.
"These new numbers demonstrate that vulture funds' purchases of family houses have accelerated.
"These funds have acquired more than 1,200 residences. Last year alone, approximately 620 properties were purchased from struggling home buyers.
Sinn Féin has urged the government to endorse a proposal to increase the tax on a single buyer acquiring 10 or more homes to 17%.
Mr Doherty stated that unless Sinn Féin's proposals to increase stamp duty are implemented, cash will continue to be spent on properties that should be allocated to families.
He went on to say: "Government have a decision to make - they can allow this to continue or they can support Sinn Féin's motion in the Dáil tonight to stop it."