Government proposals to introduce a 10% stamp duty charge on bulk buying of houses are "sensible", according to Dermot O'Leary, Chief Economist with Goodbody.

There was concern among investors that more restrictive measures would be put on investment on property overall, including investment in apartments.

"The decision is a sensible one because it balances off the benefits that come about from investors internationally in funding these apartment developments," Mr O'Leary said on business news on Morning Ireland.

"We think a decent balance has been struck here."

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The funding of property has changed dramatically from the mid 2000s when 80,000 housing units were built.

The market risk was lower for the builder of apartment blocks because they could sell it off to either owner occupiers or investors.

In 2006, 11,500 mortgages were given out to small scale investors of new residential units.

"That demand isn't there anymore," Mr O'Leary said. "Around 300 small investors purchased new homes in Ireland last year, so we are seeing a shift in the ownership."

He said if we did not have investment funds buying Irish property, particularly apartments - which is a more complex, riskier activity - then these apartments wouldn't be built in the first place.

Last year, there were only 3,000 apartments built.

"We need to get that higher," Dermot O'Leary said.

"We still have the lowest percentage of apartment stock in our housing stock in Europe. There is a need for a rental sector as there is a need for an owner occupier sector as well," he added.

The chief economist at Goodbody said the Government needs to take a look at itself and what it can do to help the funding environment for house builders overall, and get its own house building programme up to the level that is required.