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First Home Scheme Ireland 2024, Will It Help You Buy?

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The First Home Scheme Ireland 2024 is a first time buyers support that allows first time buyers to borrow up to 30% of the value of their property directly from the government created scheme.

First Home Scheme Ireland 2024

The FHS scheme can help you boost your buying budget and what you are able to borrow from the lenders making it easier to get a foot on the property ladder.

In this article, I will be going into detail about how the First Home Scheme Ireland 2024 works, what you have to do to qualify, how much can be available to you and finally how to apply. If you are thinking of buying and need more information about the First Home Scheme you can book a free advice call using the button below.

How does the First Home Scheme Ireland 2024 Work as a First Time Buyers Grant?

The First Home Scheme Ireland 2024 is a First Buyers Grant that works as an equity scheme, while the Help to Buy Scheme is a tax refund scheme.

It allows first time buyers purchasing newly built homes or those self building to receive from 2.5% up to 30% of their property value as a deposit to help reduce the mortgage amount needed.

In return the Irish Banks and Government retains a share of ownership of your home through a private company they have created to administer the scheme.

When you sell your home the FHS company will get a share of the sale price depending on how much share they took.

For example,

  • Home purchased @ €300,000
  • First Home Scheme Deposit @ 30% = €90,000
  • Home sold @ €400,000
  • Government owed 30% = €120,000

The government also has the right to interest payments on the amount advanced after 5 years, first at 1.75% then rising to 2.15% after 15 years and 2.85% after 29 years.

So for a typical mortgage of 20 years

  • 10 years €90,000 @ 1.75%
  • 10 years €90,000 @ 2.15%
  • Total additional interest of €18,760

So in the example above the government would ultimately receive €138,760 for the €90,000 you receive under the First Home Scheme.

How do I know if I qualify for the First Home Scheme Ireland 2024?

The First Home Scheme Ireland 2024 is targeted at First Time Buyers who can’t get a large enough mortgage to afford to buy a new home. One recent tweak to the scheme allows also anyone who has been served notice of eviction and self builds to also apply for the FHS scheme.

It aims to bridge the gap between how much money you need and how much money the lender will give you.

For that reason the First Home Scheme requires you to have a mortgage of at least 70% of the properties value to qualify. If you can afford to buy without maximising your loan, then by definition you don’t need the scheme.

The First Home Scheme Ireland 2024 is available to all First Time Buyers purchasing a newly built property or self building a home under €500,000 in Dublin or Cork and down to €250,000 in some parts of the country.

Local Authority AreaHouse Price Ceilings*Self Build CeilingsApartment Price Ceilings
Cork City, Dublin City, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, South Dublin€475,000€475,000€500,000
Galway City€450,000€450,000€450,000
Limerick City and County€400,000€400,000€450,000
Waterford City and County€375,000€375,000€450,000
updated 6/01/2024

*For the purposes of the First Home Scheme, duplexes fall within house price ceilings.

Local Authority AreaPrice Ceilings (all properties)
Wicklow County€475,000
Kildare County, Cork, Meath€425,000
County Galway€400,000
Laois, Louth, Kilkenny, Westmeath€375,000
Kerry, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Wexford, Carlow, Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Sligo, Tipperary,€325,000
updated 6/01/2024

A First Time Buyer is anyone who hasn’t previously taken purchased a property in or outside of Ireland.

Due to the governments ‘fresh start’ policy the scheme is also available to anyone who has been made bankrupt or is divorced and no longer has a share of a property.

In order to qualify, you must-

  • Be a first time buyer both in Ireland and outside of Ireland
  • Be moving in with an applicant who is also a first time buyer if more than one person will be purchasing the home
  • Be moving into a newly built home in a private development
  • Be using the property as your principal private residence for 5 years

The government has indicated that the FHS scheme will be extended to also include self build properties.

How much is available to me from the First Home Scheme Ireland 2024?

Under the First Home Scheme Ireland 2024, first time buyers can claim, 

  • Up to 30% of the purchase price of their new home, for example a home worth €200,000 can claim €60,000
  • If you avail of the Help to Buy Scheme however the First Home Scheme is capped at 20%

As the Help to Buy Scheme is a grant it is not subject to being reclaimed or to future interest payments.

This means that a combination of funding the purchase through a 10% Help to Buy Scheme grant and a 20% First Home Scheme equity option is the best approach for most cases.

The FHS scheme is not means tested so is available for all income levels.

How can I apply to the First Home Scheme Ireland 2024?

If you think you qualify for the First Home Scheme Ireland 2024, then you should talk to a mortgage broker who can advise you on the best approach and which lenders work with the scheme.

There is also a web site dedicated to the scheme. [1]

In a Nutshell – First Home Scheme Ireland 2024

With monthly rents now often costing more than monthly mortgage repayments on the exact same property, buying a home can be an essential step in creating better financial and life outcomes.

The First Home Scheme Ireland 2024 used in conjunction with the current Help to Buy scheme may help renters trapped by these rules escape, by reducing the size of mortgages required to buy a home by a further 20%.

There are some catches to the FHS scheme bear in mind though, the only lenders in the scheme currently are PTSB, Bank of Ireland and AIB Group (which includes EBS and Haven). These lenders have the most expensive mortgages on the market.

If you wanted to switch mortgage to a cheaper lender, you would have to buy out your 20% equity stake to do so. This could severely limit your options and leave you paying through the nose on your interest repayments.

Also if you are looking to trade up a few years down the line, your equity for the trade will be worth less as you will have to take the scheme’s stake in your property into account. This could make getting the 20% deposit required for a second time buyer an impossible hurdle in some cases.

There is no doubt also that this will put further upward pressure on house prices, a similar scheme in the UK is said to have added 6% to property prices, but for those wasting thousands every month in rent, it at least offers some hope at last.

Next Steps – First Home Scheme Ireland 2024

You can find out more about the other major government support scheme, the help to buy scheme here.

Wanting to find a mortgage for your new property? Contact one of our mortgage sherpas today free of charge or you get provisional approval in 5 minutes with our instant approval calculator, so you can get going and view some properties!

If you have any questions about lenders or switching mortgages feel free to contact our QFA mortgage sherpas here at moneysherpa.

24 thoughts on “First Home Scheme Ireland 2024, Will It Help You Buy?”

  1. Hi
    I am Niya working in Ireland since 2016, I am separated from husband and I wish to buy a new built house.
    I am looking for a 3 to 4 bedroom house,
    Kindly let me know how will the first house scheme. I do have a loan of 40,000 euros, in which around 17000euros I have taken as a deposit to buy the house .

    • Hi Niya,

      You should be eligible for the first home scheme and the help to buy if you are separated, however you would still need to meet the other requirements of the schemes. That includes the property you want to buy being a new build amongst other things. Hope that helps. Thanks, Mark

  2. Hi Mark, good day

    I am Boby from India now me and family living in Ireland, my wife’s age is 45, working in HSE as a nurse yearly salary 52K. She completed 6 months probation. She came Ireland in July 2023.

    I joined a company this month, salary yearly 25K my age is 50.

    We are planning to buy a new house with mortgage loan. Will I get Benifits from First Home Scheme, to get this Benifits, do we need to wait for stamp 4. And one more doubt, maximum how many years repayment period get as per the age.


    • Hi Boby,

      The First Home Scheme and the Help to Buy Scheme are not dependent on your resident status directly, however there are some related items that are. For the First Home Scheme you will obviously also need a mortgage in place. If this is a joint mortgage you will both have to be resident for at least 12 months and 24 months for most lenders. So to get the First Home Scheme for a joint application you will need to be resident for at least a year. There is quite a lot of parts involved so you might want to have a chat to one of our mortgage brokers to take you through your options, you can book a free advice call here.

  3. I received a notice of termination because my Landlord is selling a house, but the house is not listed in the advertisement, how can I use this program?

    • Currently If you are renting privately and your landlord wants to sell your rental home, they do not have to offer it to you. The government has pledged to change this, so the tenant has first right of refusal, but that’s not law yet.

      Your landlord can still sell you the home you are renting though, if they want to and you can afford to buy it. You can use the First Home Scheme and the Local Authority Home Loan to help with the cost of buying your rental home. These schemes have been adapted so people in this situation can access them. As a first step I’d get in touch with your landlord to see if they are prepared to sell to you and then look at the schemes to help.

    • What if the owner doesn’t want to sell this house to me? I think he wants to rent it for more money, can I find another house and use The First Home Scheme ?

      • Hi Damian, yes as long as the house is a new build and you are a First Time Buyer you are likely to be eligible for the scheme. The house will have to be lower than the price cap in the area and you will need to have gone for the maximum mortgage you can, but have been unable to get the property. The scheme may then be able to help you to bridge the gap. Thanks, Mark

  4. Hi Mark,

    I have a saving of 10k, saved from the last 1 year and I am working full-time earning a salary of 52k annually. I am looking to buy a house. I am really not sure if I qualify for any of the buying schemes. Do I have to save more inorder to be eligible for the first time buyer scheme? or will I be able to apply for a the same? Thank you

    • Hi Nick, there’s no minimum savings required to qualify for the First Home Scheme, you just need to be buying a new build property and need extra money over your mortgage to afford it. In fact you can use the Help to Buy and the First Home Scheme to pay for the deposit on a property. The reason you may need regular savings is to prove your ability to repay the mortgage to the lender. That said if you are renting that can be used instead. The best option is to talk to a broker who will give you market based advice on all your options.

  5. Hi Mark.

    We have savings of 20k.

    We have a site and are hoping to build for around 200k (I work for a builders merchant, so I will avail of discounted materials).

    How much mortgage should we apply for and how much can we claim on the scheme.

    Thank you

    • Hi Grace, you will need to work back from your build costs. You may be eligible for Help to Buy and FHS. If you kept your deposit for furnishing etc.. you could get 30% of the build from FHS and HTB in theory so €60,000 leaving you a mortgage of €140,000. However, this depends on you income and many other factors so you need to talk to a mortgage broker to go through in detail before taking the plunge!

  6. Hi Mark
    Thank you for your reply.
    The latest new builds here in Sligo have gone to market as below.
    2 Bed Semi D starting at 325k.
    3 Bed Semi D starting at 369k.
    3 Bed terraced starting at 340k.
    So as you can see the only house that falls under the cap is a 2 bed which is not very suitable for 5 people.
    We have been informed of a potential review at the end of the year.
    You only have to look at the numbers of people who have availed of the scheme in the North West to see it isn’t currently fit for purpose with the majority of people that have availed of it on the east coast where the caps are set much higher.
    Kind regards

    • Thanks Dennis, we will follow up with the team at the First Home Scheme, it does seem that the caps are way below the current market rates for new builds and given the scheme is so important an update would make a huge difference to would be buyers.

      • Hi Mark,

        I would say it’s the same case around Dublin (Meath/Kildare) as well. New Builds are costing at least 495k for a 3 bed. We have been looking to buy new build house since last march but looking at the rate at which the prices have gone up, we are not able to afford to buy a new build house even though we are earning 110K plus jointly and have 10% savings. If you could review the capping for commuter belts to Dublin and make changes, that would help us a lot.


        • Hi Raghav, thanks for the feedback we are seeing this a lot. Dublin seems to be the most out of line with market prices, but there are also hot spots round the country. We have written an article on the issue for the national press that is due to be published this week. I’ll post this here when it goes live, hopefully we will see the caps reviewed. If others could let us know the regions they are seeing issues in here as well that would really help.

  7. Hi Mark.

    The caps you have noted above for the first home scheme seem to be out of date.
    The current cap for Sligo and the north West is 325k
    There is no new builds starting at 325k so it is making the scheme unattainable to most people in the north West.
    I wonder if you have any advise on if the scheme is going to be reviewed to take the rise in house prices into account.
    I have a mortgage approved, 20% agreed with the first home scheme, can avail of the help to buy scheme and have a substantial deposit.
    Yet still can not get on the property ladder, I would imagine there is many people in similar situations so I really hope the cap is reviewed.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Dennis, thanks for pointing this out, the rural areas were increased by €75,000 recently to account for price increases in those areas to €325,000 and we hadn’t made the update. Now updated. Sorry to here you are still struggling to find properties under the price caps, what pricing are you seeing in New Builds in the North West? We can flag these to the FHS scheme and lobby for a potential increase for our readers. If anyone else is also struggling with the caps please do comment and let us know!

  8. Hi Mark,
    My daughter works part time and unlikely to get a mortgage. She has savings of 20k, I could give her 80k, could she get 30k from first home scheme and self build a house for 130k? We could gift her a site.

    • Hi Marie, thanks for your question. With the First Home Scheme (FHS) now including Self Builds then it is possible that your daughter would be able to get €30K from the FHS as long as the build cost is over €100K which would be likely. If the build cost is €200K for example your daughter could claim up to €60,000 under FHS, including your €80,000 that would be €140,000 funded with the remainder to come from a mortgage for example. If your daughter has been paying income tax it’s also worth claiming the Help to Buy Scheme for the first 10% (as this does not require you to give up equity in the home). So €80,000 would be a gift, €20,000 from HTB and €40,000 from FHS. In this circumstance 20% of the house equity would be owned by FHS which would come due if the house was sold.

      I’d highlight though to go to a mortgage broker to get qualified advice on your own particular case and secure your mortgage first before starting the build. There are limitations on the HTB and FHS that depend on various factors such as location etc.. Also lenders will not lend on a property that is already partially built, so even if you have finance for part of the build it is critical that all of the finance is sorted before you put a spade in the ground! Getting one on one advice from a qualified advisor is always the best first step.

  9. Hello Mark,

    Me and my wife recently(jan 2023) moved to ireland. We found a new build house which we both liked. I am a single earner. We don’t have a big savings, but we have enough for the booking deposits and solicitor fees. I have done some research around the First Home Scheme. Afterwards i have following questions, which may you answer:
    1. Can First Home Scheme cover ours 10% deposit money?
    2. How can i get the maximum of the FHS?
    3. Is it really necessary to have our saving for the 10% deposit?

    • Hi Sourabh,
      Thanks for getting in touch. If you are buying a new property and use the First Home Scheme and/or the Help to Buy Scheme you can use these as a deposit. However, your lender will look for proven ability to repay your mortgage which usually takes the form of regular savings or rent, so saving regularly can really help with that. Please note you can use both of these schemes the First Home Scheme and the Help to Buy Scheme together to get upto 40% in theory, as you have recently moved to Ireland the amount you can get with the help to buy though is likely to be limited. You can book an advice call with the team here.

  10. Hello.

    Myself and my husband are looking to buy in the next few years. We are both going to save from January and build savings up for a deposit for the first home scheme 2023. My husband earns 50k a year and I am only part time but my hours will go to a 32 hour week from January as I start my course for Pharmacy technician. Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated. We need guidance.

    • Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. To maximise your buying budget you need to maximise your deposit and the amount you can borrow. To maximise your deposit you can use the First Home Scheme, Help to Buy and also Gifts from family. One thing that many don’t realise is that equity released on the family home or homes can also be used in some circumstances. To maximise the amount you can borrow, the key thing is the six months leading up to the mortgage application, your monthly savings plus your rent is the key number. Finally make use you get a credit report upfront to make sure there are no nasty surprises that might stand in the way of your mortgage. Hope that helps, Mark


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