Deputy Catherine Murphy
Kildare North, TD, Catherine Murphy has questioned the wisdom of giving first time buyer grants to people buying properites costing over €450,000.
On July 24, the Leixlip based Social Democrat TD received information in a Dail response on the number of Help to Buy grants paid out between the start of the State scheme in July 2016 and July 1 2018.
The tax relief scheme offers first-time buyers of newly built homes a maximum tax rebate of 5% of the purchase price based on taxes paid over the previous four years.
Overall €104.3 million has been paid out under the scheme.
Among other things, the Minister for Finance told her that a third of the grants were for properties valued at between €226,000-€300,000
Two thirds were for new-builds costing between €226,000 and €375,000, but some 5.61% were for homes with price tags of more than €450,000.
The reply shows that another 12.9% went for properties priced in the €376-450,000 range and 32% of grants (2,479 of them) were for those in the €301-375,000 range.
Just over a third (34% or or 2,644 grants) were for properties in the €226-300,000 range.
Just 15.4% were for properties priced at €225,000 or under and of this lot just 199 grants (2.6%) went on properties valued at €150,000 or under.
Deputy Murphy questioned grants to the €450,000 property buyers, in particular, and asked if the State in some instances was helping people who did not need that help and, in the process, adding to inflation in property prices. She said 435 people got grants for houses priced at over €450,000.
The Social Democrat said that affordability could not be achieved for many until the cost of building land came down by using the State’s land, which is significant.