Fianna Fáil TD, Jack Chambers has said there is a lack of clarity on the inner workings of the Help-to-Buy scheme and has called on the Minister to more clearly explain details for applicants.

The Help-to-Buy scheme introduced by the Minister for Finance in Budget 2017 is designed to help first time buyers meet tougher deposit requirements under Central Bank mortgage lending rules. Applications from first-time home buyers for financial support under the government’s measure opened earlier this month.

“I recently questioned the Minister on a persistent issue faced by first time buyers, whereby developers are delaying passing on the relevant information to the Revenue Commissioners to have part of their deposit released back to them,” added the Dublin based TD.

“Such delays are causing undue stress for first-time buyers, particularly my own generation, who require the portion of the deposit to be returned to cover the cost of other aspects of the house buying process.

“The scheme is by no means a panacea to the woes faced by prospective first time buyers. I fear that the true motivation behind the scheme was for the Minister to be seen to be doing something rather than making a real difference.

“Speaking to many first-time buyers, as well as other home owners, they are concerned about the scheme’s impact on house prices and that price levels are growing to reflect the grant.

“There is new evidence to suggest that it is creating additional price pressures in the housing market with 8% growth in 2016 and anticipated 8-10% in 2017. It remains to be seen whether or not it will boost the supply of houses, as the government had initially hoped.

The predicted impact on the acceleration in house prices over the coming months comes amid newly published figures from that indicate the number of properties for sale nationwide this month, has fallen to a 10-year low.

“While Dublin requires a minimum 15,000 new homes this year to meet current demand, less than one third of the level of the houses needed (4,000) have been built.

“It is disheartening that the government’s Housing Action Plan is not working to increase supply, as very little has been done to tackle the most significant barriers to new construction. More clarity and awareness is required so that all those eligible will no longer be dissuade from availing of the scheme,” concluded Deputy Chambers.