Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has expressed concern about the effectiveness of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme for first time buyers in Cavan and Monaghan.  The latest figures released to Deputy Smyth reveal that out of 2586 applications nationally, only 620 have been successful to date.

Deputy Smyth said, “I was critical of the Help to Buy Scheme when it was first announced because not only does it limit house-hunters to new builds, it does nothing to address the supply issue.  This excludes a huge number of first time buyers across Cavan and Monaghan, where building ground to a virtual halt a number of years ago.  There are only a limited number of new builds available and the Help to Buy incentive is resulting in first time buyers bidding on the same properties, and driving prices up.

“The figures for Connacht/Ulster speak for themselves – only 15 applications approved since the scheme opened in January.  This problem is particularly acute in Cavan and Monaghan, but it is being replicated in the majority of counties in the West and North West.

“The Government must start focusing on the supply issue because unless more homes are built in the right places, the problem of spiralling house prices will continue.  This involves reforming development levies, reducing construction and certification costs and start considering meaningful service land initiatives.

“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 Smyth.