Hundreds of new homes bought using the controversial Help-to-Buy scheme have cost more than €450,000 each, fueling concerns the lucrative tax break is benefiting those who don’t need help.
Official data shows that one in 20 first-time buyers have claimed a tax refund of up to €20,000 to offset the cost of buying an expensive property, prompting calls for the scheme to be targeted at more affordable homes.
Help to Buy is designed to help borrowers raise the 10% deposit needed to secure a home, a quarter of all claims made were to those with a deposit of at least 20%.
Figures from the Revenue Commissioners also show that more than half of the total properties bought under the scheme were outside the capital.
The figures outline details of the 4,824 claims paid to date and raise fresh questions about whether the incentive is properly targeted at those who cannot afford to buy, or is simply helping inflate prices.
The ‘Help to Buy Statistics 2017’ report shows that claims totaling €68.9m have been approved to date for properties purchased or built between July 19, 2016 and January 2 this year. This equates to an average tax refund of almost €14,300.