Ireland has been attracting much attention as one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe. The significant investment from foreign firms has made Dublin one of the top tech hubs around this part of the globe. And this growth is not showing any signs of slowing down as more companies express their continued interest in putting their money on Ireland. What does this mean for the Irish?
The positive outlook towards the future of Ireland is boosting other parts of the economy – most importantly, real estate. As more people look for jobs in Dublin, there is also a greater demand for housing within the city and surrounding areas like Meath. And, since most of these people are first-time buyers, the government stepped in with the “help to buy” scheme that aims to boost the housing market.
What is the HTB scheme, and how does it work?
The scheme is essentially a tax rebate given to first-time homebuyers allowing them to get a refund of up to 5% of the home’s price. In the case of a self-build, the 5% applies to the value of the property once it is completed. The refund is set at a cap amount of €20,000. Of course, there are finer details to the requirements of the scheme, but suffice it to say that this government initiative shows great promise in attracting residents to invest in real estate and for development companies to supply the demand for new homes.
HTB is a nationwide scheme
The main goal of HTB is to stimulate housing growth and construction around the country. As such, the scheme should benefit the whole of Ireland. But according to earlier reports, most of the construction was concentrated around Dublin, Maydenhayes Meath, and Kildare, where to date, these areas account for 55% of all HTB claims.
Although the numbers in some cities around Ireland are quite low, it is an understandable trend since the demand for new homes is higher in the capital city and its surrounding areas. With more people looking for a better quality of life as well as job opportunities, settlers tend to gravitate towards areas where they are likely to get a high paying job or live comfortably either as a single-income household or one with a growing family.
Will HTB help low-income earners?
Since the scheme is primarily aimed at helping first-time buyers, low-income earners are welcome to benefit from this initiative. However, there is still a significant opportunity for builders to provide affordable housing for individuals who cannot afford more high-end living arrangements.
For homebuyers who can afford the €300,000 to €350,000 price range, on the other hand, there are plenty of developers that built homes in this category. Whether you prefer the greater Dublin area or any of the surrounding suburbs, you will likely find an excellent property to buy.
When does the scheme end?
The initial response to the scheme was highly positive, but the initiative is far from perfect. But the extension of the HTB scheme until the end of 2021 poses an excellent chance for the government to step up and resolve many of the initial issues observed. Indeed, there is more than can be improved in terms of making the scheme work the way it was intended. But there is no doubt that many have benefited, and more can take advantage of the program as it continues to help boost the Irish housing market.