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Tuesday 28 March 2023 Dublin: 14°C
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# Housing
Property price ceilings under First Home Scheme likely to be increased in a number of counties
A recommendation is due to go to Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien next week to increase caps.

MAXIMUM PROPERTY PRICE ceilings under the First Home Scheme for a number of counties are likely to be increased, with a recommendation to raise the cap going to the Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien next week.

The scheme, launched during the summer, aims to help first-time buyers afford newly built homes.

The ‘First Home’ shared equity scheme, one of the key pillars in the Government’s Housing for All plan, aims to help people to secure a home by providing part of the purchase price of the dwelling in return for a minority equity stake.

Maximum property price ceilings at which a first-time buyer can buy a home are set for each local authority. Currently, they are as follows:

  • Cork City, Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin – €450,000 for a house; €500,000 for apartments
  • Galway City – €400,000 for a house and €450,000 for apartments
  • Limerick City and County and Waterford City and County – €350,000 for a house  and €400,000 for apartments
  • Wicklow County – €450,000 for all properties
  • Kildare County €400,000 for all properties
  • Cork County, Galway County, Kilkenny County, Meath County, Westmeath County – €350,000 for all properties
  • Clare County, Kerry County, Laois County, Louth County, Mayo County, Monaghan County, Offaly County, Roscommon County, Wexford County – €300,000 for all properties
  • Carlow County, Cavan County, Donegal County, Leitrim County, Longford County, Sligo County, Tipperary County – €250,000 for all properties

When the scheme was launched in July, O’Brien said the price caps would be kept under review on a twice-yearly basis to ensure that the ceiling prices were appropriate and as a measure to prevent distortion in each local housing market

It is understood that since applications opened, concerns have been raised that a number of new housing developments in some counties have been priced out of reach of the First Home Scheme.

It is understood the board of the First Home Scheme has met and agreed a recommendation to increase the ceilings in a number of counties, with a report due to go to the minister next week.

The scheme is a joint venture between the State and three banks, currently AIB, BOI and PTSB.

The average purchase price for eligibility certs is €359,000 with the average support being provided by First Home in these cases being €79,000 – 22% of the average purchase price.

The last quarterly report into the scheme showed that 66% of certs issued have been for buyers in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, with the remaining 34% spread across 19 counties throughout Ireland.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on housing, Eoin Ó Broin has described the Government’s shared equity loan scheme as a pro-developer scam, warning that it will only push up house prices and saddle working people with ever greater levels of debt.

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