The latest progress report on the First Home Scheme shows that 2,598 buyers have been approved and 699 homes already bought using the scheme since it was launched in July 2022.
The First Home Scheme was a €400m fund set up to help first-time buyers to bridge the gap between their mortgage, deposit and the price of a new home.
The scheme is a joint venture between the State and three banks, currently AIB (including subsidiaries EBS and Haven), Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB. It also remains open to other authorised mortgage lenders in the Irish market to join the scheme.
Today’s report for the third quarter of 2023 shows that 78% of live approvals have been for buyers in Dublin, Cork, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow, with the remaining 22% spread across 19 counties throughout the country.
It also reveals that the scheme has seen over 6,300 expressions of interest from potential buyers since it was launched, with 3,943 new expressions of interest submitted so far this year.
Eligibility for the scheme was extended to thousands of additional first-time buyers from January, following the widening of eligibility criteria for homes in 30 of the country’s 31 local authority areas, with the limit for eligible homes increasing by up to €75,000.
Houses with prices of up to €475,000 and apartments with prices of up to €500,000 are eligible for the scheme, depending on their location.
The scheme has been further extended this year to include two new groups of people – tenants who wish to buy their home from a landlord and self-build customers who are building their own home.
The average purchase price for completed purchases is €375,000, while the average support being provided n these cases is about €66,000 or 18% of the average purchase price.
First Home’s chief executive Michael Broderick said the scheme was seeing very strong momentum in terms of applications, approvals and completions and all the signs are that this will continue.
“We’d encourage anyone seeking to buy or build their first home to look at what we offer and see how we can help them. We’ve a strong track record in processing applications quickly and efficiently and feedback from people who have used the scheme has been very favourable,” the CEO added.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien said that the First Home Scheme is making excellent progress in helping large numbers of first-time buyers to achieve their home ownership ambitions.
“Today’s quarterly update shows the number of individuals, couples and families who are interested in, applying, and getting approval for the scheme continues to grow rapidly,” he said.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to extend the scheme to tenants who wish to purchase the property they are renting from their landlord and to self-builders during 2023, and indeed we have seen the first approvals under both of these already,” he added.