The expansion of the First Home Scheme to include self builds is a welcome step, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Fine Gael Housing Spokesperson, Senator John Cummins, said that prospective homeowners who are considering building their own homes will now be afforded the same opportunities as other first-time buyers who need to use the First Home Scheme to bridge the gap to home ownership.
Senator Cummins said: “This is something I have been calling for for quite some time and I am very pleased this change has been adopted as Government policy.
“Today’s announcement will mean that self-build projects will be able to benefit from up to 30% of the total build cost of their home, filling the gap between an individual or couple’s self-build mortgage and deposit.
“As I have said before, I acknowledge that expanding the First Home Scheme to self builds is not as straightforward as a house purchase which has a fixed price.
“Self builds by their nature only have estimated costs at the outset, which can rise due to inflation as well as unexpected outlays. That is why it has taken a considerable period of time to work out the details of how the scheme will operate.
“I have spoken to many young people who are in the process of building their own homes, particularly in rural Ireland, and they have told me that inflationary pressures have meant they now have a shortfall between their mortgage approval figure and the revised costs of their project.
“The First Home Scheme can now help to fill that void and give a lifeline of support to kickstart projects which already have planning permission in place.”
Senator Cummins concluded: “Having the dual support of the Help to Buy scheme and the option of the First Home Scheme available to those building their first home is a hugely welcome development.
“Since its introduction, the Help to Buy Scheme has assisted 42,488 individuals and families to get four years of their tax back up to a maximum of €30,000 towards their deposit. Of these, 10,782 (25%) were for self builds.”