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Irish homeowners have spent €1.7 billion via renovation scheme

It might be the Dermot Bannon effect.

Dermot Bannon (left) on the set of a Room to Improve episode
Dermot Bannon (left) on the set of a Room to Improve episode
Image: RTÉ

IRISH HOMEOWNERS HAVE spent €1.737 billion in total through the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme since it was launched in 2013.

The HRI provides a tax relief by way of an income tax credit in respect of repair, renovation or improvement works carried out by registered contractors on a person’s home.

Figures released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) today show that 107,386 home improvement projects have been carried out via the incentive over the last four years. On average, €16,187 was spent on each project.

Broken down by value, the largest amount of work was carried out in the following areas:

  • Completing home extensions (34%)
  • General repair and renovations (25%)
  • Window replacement (10%)
  • Kitchen replacement (10%)

Dublin dwellers are spending the most, on average, at €18,721 per project; followed by Donegal at €17,870 and Clare at €16,682.

Dublin also tops the chart for the amount of works carried out since 2013 (49,324), followed by Cork (12,809) and Kildare (6,345).

The CIF said the success of the scheme is likely in part due to the popularity of TV show Room to Improve, where architect Dermot Bannon helps members of the public design their dream home.

Creating jobs 

Speaking about the figures, Tom Parlon, Director General of the CIF, said the scheme has “contributed greatly to the level of construction activity throughout the country since its introduction”.

“This private investment is good news for construction companies and contractors, which is helping to sustain existing jobs and create new jobs in the industry.”

The national cost to the Exchequer of the incentive to date is €122 million, if the maximum credits that can be claimed by homeowners are availed of.

Parlon noted that the majority of the improvements carried out are “designed to make homes more energy-efficient”.

Schemes like the HRI are good value in terms of reducing carbon usage in the built environment, which is an increasing concern given the likelihood of huge fines from the European Union for Ireland’s failure to meet climate change targets of a reduction of 30% in greenhouse gas emissions.

The HRI was initially introduced in late 2013 and extended to rental properties in late 2014. To qualify for the tax relief, the repair, renovation or improvement works must have been carried out on or after 25 October 2013 and on or before 31 December 2018.

Under the scheme, 13.5% of what is spent on the property will be returned via a tax credit. Where all conditions of the incentive are satisfied, the tax relief is given by way of a tax credit split evenly over the two years following the year in which the works are paid for.

Where a claimant does not have sufficient income tax liability to utilise the tax credit in full over the two years following the year in which the works were paid for, the credit is carried forward to subsequent years until it has been used in full.

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Órla Ryan

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