Keen interest in the government’s shared equity mortgage program

STRONG interest has been registered in the new program, which will see the state buy equity interests in homes.

It is for those whose income is too low to take out a mortgage big enough to buy their first home.

About 508 buyers have been approved for the shared-equity first-home program since it launched over the summer, and nearly 2,000 others have expressed interest in the program.

Most successful applicants have bought houses in Dublin and in the Kildare, Meath and Wicklow area.

The average purchase price is €359,000 while the average First Home support is €79,000, according to the First Home unit set up to manage the program.

The pioneering affordable housing program was launched in July and funded with €400 million.

The three main banks have joined the program, which envisages the state providing an interest-free share of up to 30 percent in the house.

Figures just released show that 508 buyers in 23 counties have been accepted into the program and have been issued eligibility certificates, allowing them to purchase the home of their choice.

A joint application is counted as one buyer, not two.

Another 203 applications are currently being processed, with approvals expected soon in most of those cases, said First Home chief executive Michael Broderick.

He said a total of 1,862 potential buyers had expressed interest in the program.

This is made up of 823 individual buyers and 1,039 couples.

The average purchase price for credentials is €359,000, the average support by First Home in these cases is €79,000.

Under the program, the purchase of new housing will be funded jointly by the state and participating mortgage lenders.

There are limits to the value of real estate that qualifies for the program in each area of ​​local government. Limits are based on the median for a new home in the area.

Mr Broderick said First Home will complete a review of the price cap on homes qualifying for the program in each local government area, with the outcome expected in January.

This measure is intended to prevent distortions in the respective local housing market

Housing Secretary Darragh O’Brien said he was heartened by the interest and reception the program has had in its first 12 weeks.

“We are now seeing people buying and moving into their new homes because of the First Home Scheme and we will see thousands more in the years to come.”

Mr Broderick said: “It’s early days but we’re off to a good start and first-time buyers are responding very positively to our offer, with almost 2,000 interested parties and over 500 certificates of eligibility already issued.”

The program caters to the squeezed middle who gets caught paying sky-high rent, making bail difficult to come up with.

These people earn too much to qualify for public housing, but too little to qualify for a mortgage in a rising real estate market.

Typical beneficiaries of the program would be a couple with an income of €70,000 looking to buy a new home for €320,000.

After a deposit of 10 percent, they can borrow a maximum of €277,000. This leaves a gap of €43,000.

First Home would provide this amount as equity, with no interest for the first five years.

This couple could also benefit from government purchase assistance, which typically offers tax breaks of up to 20 percent of a property’s value.

This week the central bank said first-time buyers will be able to borrow up to four times their income from next year as part of a slight relaxation of its mortgage lending rules. Keen interest in the government’s shared equity mortgage program

Fry Electronics Team

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