Daft reports 130pc surge in new home searches since Budget
Property website Daft.ie has reported a surge in searches for new homes in the wake of the Budget.
The website, which has 2.21 million users every month, said inquiries for new builds more than doubled since Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced a property rebate scheme. Compared with the average hit rates for any other day in 2016, it had led to a 130pc increase in interest.
Daft.ie said searches for new homes had been greatest in the Dublin area, along with the commuter belt around the capital, followed by Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford cities.
Martin Clancy from Daft.ie said: "The spike in searches on Tuesday was quite large and certainly points to an increased interest in new homes on the back of the announcement by the Government."
More than 1,000 property searches were run on its website every minute.
The initiative has been criticised by some industry experts over fears that it will lead to an increase in asking prices, as developers see it as giving buyers an extra €20,000.
The Central Bank said Mr Noonan's tax-rebate scheme did not breach its strict mortgage lending rules, which were designed to prevent a repeat of the property bubble. It warned last month that first-time buyers had to save for up to four years to buy a three-bedroom house in some areas.
Mr Noonan said: "There is a problem. There are no starter homes being built that young people can buy.
"What is being provided now is much more expensive, the young couples, the nurse, teacher, the guard, middle grade public servants, they just can't buy houses. This is to help them put a deposit together."