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Help To Buy could be scrapped: 5 things to know in property this week

All the must-know developments you may have missed.

EVERY FRIDAY MORNING, we round up the most important happenings in property this week, from exciting properties that have come on the market to fundamental changes in how we buy or rent in Ireland.

Here’s what’s been happening in the world of Irish property this week – from how scrapping the Help To Buy scheme might affect prices to how a person ended up owning land belonging to Dublin City Council.

1. The Department of Justice HQ is on the market for €20 million 

File Photo THE HOME OF the Department of Justice has gone on sale for €20 million. Source: Leah Farrell

The home of the Department of Justice has gone on sale for €20 million. Number 94 Stephen’s Green, which was originally the Centenary Church of Ireland, is being offered for sale through Savills, on behalf of the investment management group SW3 Capital.

It currently comprises a landmark office building with pillared listed façade and a modern office extension to the rear. Also included in the sale is a townhouse next door, which fronts onto St Stephen’s Green. The residence can be used as a single home or three apartments.

2. Demand amid fears for Help To Buy scheme ‘could push up prices’

90438150_90438150 Source: Leah Farrell

The Help To Buy scheme has received nearly 7,000 applications to date, but there are concerns there could be a rush of applicants amid fear it’s to be scrapped. Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has acknowledged that the controversial incentive is under review, with reports it could be wound up in the next Budget.

The scheme, which was first introduced in last October’s budget, provides first-time buyers a grant of up to €20,000. Critics of the scheme said it is pushing up house prices rather than encouraging building.

3. The Green Party have passed a motion on building safety standards

File Photo Construction activity is continuing to increase according to the latest Ulster Bank Index. Source: RollingNews.ie

The Government has lost its first Dáil vote since Leo Varadkar became Taoiseach, as a Green Party motion on building standards passed through the house today. The motion states that despite the building boom over the past 20 years, past governments have failed to properly regulate the industry.

It also calls for speedier methods to solve disputes, and offer greater protection to homeowners in the event of negligence in the building process. Furthermore, it includes proposals to provide financing for remedial works to “defective housing units, that will form the basis for a nationwide scheme”.

4. Dublin is the second most expensive city in the eurozone for expats

File Photo The proposal to remodel College Green as a pedestrian – priority plaza is a Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority initiative Source: Eamonn Farrell

Dublin is the second most expensive city in the eurozone for expats to live in. That is according to the 23rd Mercer Cost of Living Survey, which was released today. Overall, the capital is the 66th most expensive city in the world in which to live.

The report has seen European cities pushed down the rankings due to a strengthening dollar. Angolan capital Luanda has taken top spot from Hong Kong, with New York in 9th place and London in 30th.

5. Here’s how someone ends up owning land belonging to Dublin City Council

LR FINE MAY WEATHER 758A9211_90510356 Source: Eamonn Farrell

A Dublin woman secured a quarter-acre addition to her back garden from Dublin City Council. Mary Byrne, of Marino, Dublin, was granted a plot of land behind her house that had belonged to the council, after she proved she had been in ‘adverse possession’ of it for 12 years.

The land was leased to Byne’s grandfather who occupied it for a few pence a year. After he died, the Byrne family kept possession of it. Eventually, rent stopped being paid and Mary Byrne took over possession of the land.

And finally, this week’s property buzzword…

Property can be a complicated topic, and every Friday we’d like to simplify confusing property jargon to give you the upper hand in conversations with estate agents (and fellow house-viewers).

This week it’s ‘Alexander Strain houses’, a number of solid, stylish houses in Dublin built by early twentieth century builder Alexander Strain mainly based in Drumcondra and Glasnevin. They are usually sought after as well-built solid family homes with large, mature gardens.

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