Ten applications per hour as Help to Buy Scheme opens

Help to Buy scheme gets off to a quick start with some 120 first time buyers submitting applications in first 12 hours of it opening, according to the Revenue Commissioners.

The Government’s first time buyers Budget 2017 incentive came into legislation in the new year. First time buyers of new homes and first time self builders began applying for the scheme on Tuesday 03 January. The Help to Buy Scheme offers the first-time buyers and self builders of new homes an income tax rebate of up to €20,000 to fund their deposit.

Due to the surge in early applications, Fianna Fáil has warned that the scheme’s impact on prices would need careful monitoring.

How Help to Buy scheme Ireland works

Under the Help to Buy Scheme, first time buyers can apply for a refund of income tax and DIRT paid over the previous four years. The help to buy incentive does not apply to USC (Universal Social Charge) or PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance).

Furthermore, first time buyers and first time self builders can claim up to five per cent of the purchase price of a home costing up to €400,000, up to a maximum of €20,000. The rebate applies to homes costing up to €600,000 if purchased or built between 19 July and 31 December 31, 2016. While, from 01 January this year, a €500,000 price ceiling applies.

The Help-to-Buy online application process involves two stages: An application stage and a claim stage. By 1pm on 03 January, 120 online applications had been received, according to the Revenue Commissioners.

Online application process convenience for first time buyers

In statement Revenue said: “The provision of this online facility means that customers can make their application or submit their claim at any time that is convenient for them. This is in keeping with Revenue’s commitment to providing customer-friendly systems to make it as easy as possible to do business with us.”


House prices increased 8% in 2016

On the same day, property website Daft.ie reported an average house price increase of eight per cent during 2016. As a result, prices increased sharply in Cork, Galway, Waterford and Limerick cities.

Meanwhile, a report from myhome.ie, the property website, and Davy, the stockbroking firm, says the Help-to-Buy scheme will add “fuel to the fire” in driving price growth in the coming year.

Economy, Housing