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EXPLAINER: What is a Cuckoo fund?

With the Irish housing crises AGAIN talking centre stage on the government agenda, ‘cuckoo funds’ have become the target for much of the blame for the shortage of houses coming on the market for buyers.

But just what is a Cuckoo Fund?

The phrase ‘cuckoo fund’ was coined by the Irish Independent in 2019 to describe big mostly international funds that buy up large blocks of apartments and houses, not to 'flip’ for resale - like vulture funds do - but for their ongoing rental income.

The term us based on the fact that cuckoos lay their eggs in other bird’s nest, where their oversized cuckoo chicks hatch and quickly elbow the original occupants over the side.

Likewise, these ‘Cuckoo Funds’ are buying up entire developments of new properties and crowding ordinary home buyers out of the market.

Government is now looking at ways to clip the cuckoo funds wings.

Measures being brought to cabinet by housing minister include an investor tax of 50% on profits, scraping investor tax breaks, ring fencing some or all of new schemes for home buyers and the reintroduction of a project of building public housing no State lands.

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