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Help-to-Buy Housing Scheme Possibly Extended In Budget

A tax refund of up to €20,000, which currently helps first-time buyers with a deposit for the purchase of a new-build home, up to the value of €500,000, is due to expire at the end of 2019.

The Help-to-Buy scheme, which cost the Irish exchequer €73.2m last year and €35.4m in the first five months of this year, is now expected to be extended in next month’s Budget. On average the grant for each home is just under €15,000.

Costing the Exchequer around €200m, the Construction Industry Federation in its pre-Budget submission, have also called for the further extension of this scheme, availed of by some 30,000 first-time buyers, since it was rolled out in 2016; stating the scheme has had a massive impact in driving growth.

The present Fine Gael minority Government now believe that allowing this existing scheme to end could cause upset and disruption within the housing market. Current Ministers of Finance and Housing are both agreed on the need for same to be retained, with some possible modification to lowering the €500,000 cap.

Fianna Fail has also demanded that the scheme be retained at its current level in the Budget and where possible be further extended, but Government sources have suggested the €500,000 cap could be changed.

Discussions around the cap being lowered to include properties worth €250,000; a level that would exclude the majority of properties held in Dublin, have been summarily dismissed.

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