At the start of the summer the government introduced legislation where purchases of more than 10 houses at once will attract a stamp duty of 10 per cent. However, this will not apply to blocks of apartments, while local authorities and approved housing bodies will be exempt as well.

Specifically, once a purchaser acquires a relevant residential unit that brings the total number of such units that they have acquired in a 12 month period to 10 units, the stamp duty payable on each such unit acquired on or after 20 May 2021 will be 10 per cent. The increased rate will retrospectively apply to the previous nine units purchased, save for any units acquired by the purchaser before 20 May 2021.

The reforms are heavily influenced by the broader concern about a lack of supply of housing in Ireland and consequent pressure on rents and house prices and are part of a package of measures intended to deal with the housing crisis and prevent first-time buyers and others from being squeezed out by property investment funds.

The change in the stamp duty regime comprises part of the government response to the purchase by institutional investors of all or substantial proportions of residential housing estates which gained significant attention in the Irish media in the Spring months.

There has been unrest from the opposition and some within government that the choice to make the new stamp duty house-only will exclude more single people and young families from the market as investor groups continue to snap up apartment blocks.

Paschal Donohoe has said the increased stamp duty for investor property bulk buying does not extend to apartments, because it would stop apartments being built. “The reason why this is a house focused only measure is, I’m genuinely convinced that if we were to extend measures like this to apartment supply, fewer apartments will be built.”

We are yet to see what impact the stamp duty changes will have on purchasers and developers. Instead of increasing the supply of housing, the new measures could have impact on the delivery of housing to the disadvantage of both renters and buyers.


NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website, or email