First-time buyers rush for rebate
More than 800 applications have been made for the new Help-to-Buy scheme for first-time buyers (FTBs).
Interest has remained high since it opened on Tuesday morning, with some 828 FTBs filling out online application forms over the week in the expectation of securing a lucrative tax rebate.
The scheme allows for a refund of income tax and DIRT, but not USC or PRSI, paid over the previous four years which can be put forward towards a deposit to buy a new house or apartment.
Some 5pc of the purchase price to a maximum of €20,000 can be claimed. A price ceiling of €600,000 applies to homes purchased between July 19 and December 31 last. This falls to €500,000 for properties bought this year.
Figures from the Revenue Commissioners show that by 1pm last Tuesday, just hours after the scheme opened, some 120 applications had been made. At 4pm yesterday, it had increased to 828. If all applicants secured the maximum rebate of €20,000, some €16.56m in tax would be foregone.