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  • Pippa Hackett

First Home Scheme

Updated: Dec 22, 2022


I understand that the price ceiling for eligible properties is now €350,000 in Laois (an increase of 50k) and €325,000 in County Offaly (an increase of 25k). The First Home Scheme was introduced in July as one of a suite of measures to help with the housing crisis. It is a €400m fund which helps certain buyers bridge the gap between their mortgage, deposit and the price of a new home through a shared equity model.


Price ceilings, which vary by Local Authority, are to be reviewed twice each year. The increase in the price ceiling announced this week will mean that more properties can be considered by those who are eligible for the scheme. The new price ceilings will take effect from January 1.


I understand that almost 2,000 people have expressed an interest in the scheme so far, while over 500 approvals have been made across 23 counties in the scheme's first three months from July to September. It is important to remember that ‘Fresh Start’ applicants are eligible alongside First Time Buyers: You are a ‘fresh start’ applicant if you previously owned a home, but you no longer have a financial interest in it because: You are now divorced, separated, or your relationship has ended or you have gone through personal insolvency or bankruptcy.


I hope that people will check out the details of the scheme: It offers a real option for those ‘almost there’ but not quite able to get their foot on the property ladder.


It is possible for First Time Buyers to combine First Home Scheme with the Help-to-Buy scheme. However if you avail of the Help-to-Buy scheme the maximum amount of equity you can avail of under the First Home Scheme is 20%.


The Local Authority thresholds are to be updated on the https://www.firsthomescheme.ie/ website in the coming days.


More information and criteria available at the above website or from: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/housing/owning_a_home/help_with_buying_a_home/affordable_housing.html



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