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Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar
Image: Eamonn Farrell/

Leo: 'I didn't actually get help from my parents - I got a 100% mortgage'

Varadkar had said that “lots of us” received help in raising deposits.
Jan 24th 2018, 2:31 PM 137,153 271

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR says he took out a 100% mortgage on his home – and did not get help from his parents.

Speaking yesterday in the Dáil, Varadkar had said that “lots of us” received help in raising deposits.

He was responding to questions on the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, which allows people borrow up to €320,000 in a government-backed scheme.

Varadkar had said that the restriction on earnings and house price did not mean that people could not buy a home. He said that homebuyers raising deposits was nothing new.

“It has always been the case that a person needs to raise a deposit to buy a house,” he said.

“People do it in many different ways. Sometimes people go abroad for a period and earn money. Others get money from their parents. Lots of us did.”

The comments attracted criticism of the Taoiseach, with many saying he was out of touch with the realities of buying a home.

However, the Taoiseach has now told that he did not, in fact, get money from his parents to buy his home. Instead he took out a 40-year 100% mortgage.

Raising money for a deposit can be really hard especially if you have other bills like rent or childcare. So, lots of people get help from their family when raising a deposit for their first home. There’s nothing wrong with any of it, it’s not a mark of privilege.

“It’s what’s happens every day in middle Ireland. But I also realise that’s not an option for lots of people who are trying to secure a home, and that’s why the government is working so hard on this matter every day.”

As it happens, I didn’t get any help with my deposit when I bought my home. I didn’t need it as I got a 40-year 100% mortgage from the bank. Of course, I was delighted at the time. But it was bad policy, all that did was drive up house prices more and more and saddle young people with debt and negative equity.

“That’s why I am so alarmed when I hear opposition leaders calling for the government to offer 97% mortgages to people. And it’s why I am so alarmed when I hear opposition spokespeople calling for tax breaks for developers. They have learned nothing.”

Under Central Bank rules, first-time buyers have to have 10% of the purchase price of their home as a deposit. The government’s Help To Buy scheme, which allows first-time buyers claim up to €20,000 back, can be factored into the deposit.

Poll: Could you ask your parents or a relative for help in buying a home?

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Paul Hosford


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