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Explainer: Changes to mortgage interest relief

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has introduced changes to the mortgage interest relief available to buyers and home owners as part of next year’s Budget – but what does it mean?

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

READERS OF TheJournal.ie have raised questions about the Government’s alterations to mortgage interest relief offered to home owners – so we’ve put together and easy-to-read guide to fill you in on the changes.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced plans to boost mortgage interest relief for both existing home owners and first-time buyers.

The changes will mean that:

  • Home owners who entered the property market between 2004 and 2008, at the height of the property bubble, will see interest relief on their mortgage payments rise to 30 per cent from the existing rate of between 20 and 22.5 per cent
  • Buyers entering the market for the first time in 2012 will receive 25 per cent interest relief on their payments
  • Non-first time buyers can secure interest relief of 15 per cent when purchasing a property next year

However, Noonan has warned that all mortgage interest relief will start to be phased out from the end of 2012 – and abolished entirely by 2018.

Noonan also introduced changes to capital gains tax in relation to any property purchased after between 9 December 2011 and the end of 2013: the gains on such properties will be exempt from the tax, providing they are held for seven years.

Read: Budget 2012: Help for first-time buyers – but it ‘won’t solve real problems’

In full: TheJournal.ie’s full coverage of Budget 2012

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