Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan
The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is a government-backed mortgage for first-time buyers. Loans are offered at reduced interest rates and you can use them to buy new and second-hand properties, or to build a home. The rates are fixed for the full term of the mortgage, so you have the same repayments for the lifetime of the loan.
On 10 September 2021 interest rates for new borrowers were reduced by 0.25%. There are further changes planned to the loan including increasing the income threshold for single people buying or building homes in certain areas. Read more about these proposals in the Housing for All plan, which was launched in September 2021.
COVID-19 and local authority mortgages
Local authority mortgage holders could stop their loan repayments for a certain period of time, if they could not afford to pay them due to COVID-19. Applications for these payment breaks closed on 1 April 2021.
If you took a payment break, the original home loan balance is not affected by the payment break, as interest is not charged during the break. The term of the loan also remains unchanged. However, your home loan repayments will be higher after the mortgage payment break, so that your loan will be repaid fully over the original term. You should contact your local authority for more details.
You can borrow up to 90% of the market value of the property you are building or buying. Properties funded under the scheme cannot be over 175 square metres. The maximum market value differs depending on where your home is located. The maximum market value is:
- €320,000 in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow
- €250,000 in the rest of the country
You need to show that you can afford your monthly mortgage repayments, which must be less than one-third of your household income. You can use the Home Loan Calculator on rebuildingirelandhomeloan.ie to get an estimate of how much you can borrow and what your repayments will be.
Loans are only available to people who have a right to live in Ireland – either as Irish citizens or people who have indefinite leave to remain.
To qualify for a Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan you must:
- Be a first-time buyer (if you are making a joint application, neither applicant can own or have previously owned a property).
- Be aged between 18 and 70 years old.
- Provide evidence of refusal or insufficient offers of finance from two banks or building societies.
- Have a gross annual income of €50,000 or less as a single applicant. Joint applicants must have a total gross annual income of €75,000 or less.
- Have a satisfactory credit record (a credit check will be carried out with the Irish Credit Bureau and the courts before loan approval is granted).
- Have a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price of the property. (If you are eligible for the Help to Buy incentive, you can use this towards your deposit.)
- Occupy the property as your normal place of residence.
In addition, you must have been in continuous permanent employment or self-employment for a minimum of 2 years, if you are the primary applicant. In general, secondary applicants must have been in continuous permanent employment for a minimum of 1 year. However, secondary applicants on the following long-term social welfare payments may be considered:
- State Pension (Contributory)
- State Pension (Non-Contributory)
- Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's pensions,
- Blind Pension
- Invalidity Pension and Disability Allowance
Note: During COVID-19 the requirement for applicants’ employment to be continuous has been relaxed. This flexibility applies if applicants’ have periods of unemployment due to COVID-19 and meet other criteria. For more information on this see the FAQ’s on the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan website.
You can borrow up to 90% of the market value of the property. The maximum market value differs depending on where your home is located.
On 10 September 2021 interest rates for new borrowers were reduced by 0.25% to:
- 2.495% fixed interest rate for up to 25 years (APR 2.52%)
- 2.745% fixed interest rate for up to 30 years (APR 2.78%)
A fixed interest rate means that your monthly repayments remain the same for the term of the loan. You can pay off all or part of your mortgage, but you may be liable for a breakage fee.
You must sign up to the local authority collective Mortgage Protection
Insurance (MPI) scheme. You pay MPI monthly in addition to your loan
How to apply
To apply for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, complete the application form (pdf). You can also get the form in hard copy directly from your local authority. You submit your application and supporting documents (see ‘Supporting documents’ below) to the local authority in the area where you wish to buy or build your home.
The application form may request some information that you don’t have yet, for example, the address of the house you want to buy or build, and your solicitor’s details. Your application form will be accepted without this information, but you should include details of the county and area you are looking for your home, and state that your solicitor’s details are to be confirmed.
You must make an appointment with your local authority to submit your application form in person. Your local authority will review your application with you to ensure it is completed correctly.
You will receive a decision in writing about your application approximately 6 to 8 weeks after submitting the completed application form. This may be longer during COVID-19. The loan offer is valid for 6 months. However, there is currently some flexibility on this, as people are experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19 restrictions, for example, there can be delays when viewing properties, getting valuations and meeting solicitors.
You need to submit a number of supporting documents with your application, some of which depend on your situation. The application form provides a checklist for applicants so that you can make sure you have all the necessary documents before submitting your application.
You will need:
- Letters from two banks or building societies confirming insufficient offers of finance
- A completed HPL1 form (appendix 1a on the application form) stamped by Revenue
- Photographic identification (for example, current passport or drivers licence)
- Proof of address (current utility bill or bank statement)
- A salary certificate (appendix 1 on the application form)
- Most recent P60 (if the P60 is not for 52 weeks, a P21 is required)
- 4 recent pay slips
- Signed customer declarations (page 10 of the application form)
- 12 months of original statements for all your bank accounts (for example, your current accounts, savings accounts, loan accounts, credit card accounts and credit union accounts)
- Proof of marital status if you are married (if divorced you must provide legal documents)
- Planning permission, if you are building your own home. (This requirement is at the discretion of your local authority, but in most cases you will need to submit planning permission with your application.)
Additional supporting documents
You may also need other supporting documents when you are applying for a Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, if you are renting, self-employed or getting a social welfare payment.
If you are a tenant:
- Renting private rented accommodation, you need a clear rent account (no missed payments) for 6 months before applying, and a rent book or proof of payment of rent
- Renting from the local authority or under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS), you need a letter from the Rent Assessment Section of your local authority confirming that your rent assessment is up to date and the account has been clear for 6 months before applying
If you are self-employed you also need:
- An accountant’s report or your audited accounts for the previous 2 years
- A current tax balancing statement
- A current preliminary revenue tax payment receipt
If you are getting jobseeker or other social welfare payments you need:
- Appendix 2 of the application form completed by the Department of Social Protection (this includes a statement of the total benefits you received in the previous tax year)
Applying for a Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan during COVID-19
Temporary arrangements during the COVID-19 emergency mean Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan applicants do not need to get a physically completed and stamped HPL1 form from Revenue. Instead, applicants can contact their local authority and ask that the local authority get the information electronically from the Revenue Commissioners on their behalf.
Where to apply
You must make an appointment with your local authority to submit your application form and supporting documents in person.
You can also contact Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan via their online chat service. Their national help desk at (051) 349 720 is currently unavailable.
Note: The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan replaces the old local authority mortgages and the Home Choice Loan, which are no longer available.