Saturday 19 October 2019

Help-to-Buy scheme 'is not benefiting those who need help to get on ladder'

  

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Seán McCárthaigh

A scheme set up by the Government to help first-time house buyers struggling to get on the property ladder is favouring better off households and could add to house price inflation, according to an Oireachtas report.

An analysis of the Help-to-Buy scheme by the Parliamentary Budget Office said it appeared the initiative was not fulfilling its original aims "in an efficient manner".

"The scheme supported a significant number of transactions that would have taken place without the scheme," it concluded.

Claimants can get 5pc of the purchase price up to a maximum value of €20,000.

The scheme, which was established in 2016, is scheduled to end this year unless a decision is made to extend it in the forthcoming Budget.

Official figures reveal the average price paid for homes under the Help-to-Buy scheme was above the average price of all residential sales.

The report said the scheme was "benefiting households at the higher end of the income distribution".

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance said it noted the PBO report and was giving it "due consideration".

Irish Independent

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