Budget: Wins for first time buyers, landlords and homeowners

11/10/2016 Irish Examiner website

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced details of the new package to help first time buyers who purchase new homes up to the value of €600,000 Writes Irish Examiner Political reporter Elaine Loughlin.

However second-hand homes are not included in the new measures. Instead the government has extended the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme by two years to the end of 2018.

Mr Noonan has also introduced a raft of measures to ease the rental crisis as part of Budget 2017 including increasing the tax-free amount people can earn through renting rooms in their home.

The help-to-buy for first time buyers scheme will provide a rebate of income tax paid over the previous four tax years up to a maximum of 5% of the purchase price of a new home up to a value of €400,000.

Mr Noonan said pro-rata rates will apply to lower priced houses and a full rebate will be also calculated on the first €4000,000 of homes bought for up to €600,000. However, those who buy properties over €600,000 will not be able to avail of the help-to-buy scheme.

Mr Noonan said: “The lack of supply of new houses also impact on the rental sector and I am announcing a number of new measures to help increase the supply of rental accommodation.

“Interest deductabiity for residential property landlords was restricted to 75% in 2009 as part of the measures introduced to rescue the public finances.”

Mr Noonan said it is now “time to revisit this”.

The Finance Minister said that last year he introduced an incentive to support landlords who let their property to social housing tenants for at least three years and announced that the government is now going to restore full interest deductability for other landlords on a “phased basis”.

The first step is to increase the level from 75% to 80% in 2017 he said.

The income ceiling for the rent-a-room scheme is to increased by €2,000 meaning people can earn up to €14,000 per annum without paying income tax.

“This will allow homeowners to rent out addition rooms at current average prices while remaining within the scope of the scheme,” Mr Noonan has told the Dáil.