Govt plans to extend, raise home buyers subsidy

Analysis

Hungary's government plans to broaden and raise subsidies for home buyers with children, according to an economy ministry proposal obtained by Portfolio.hu. The proposal would raise the subsidy available for new home buyers to HUF 900,000-5,850,000 from HUF 800,000-3,250,000. (The actual size depends on the number of children, the size and energy efficiency of the home, with a limit on price per sqm.) It would also extend half of the subsidy to the purchase of resale homes or additions built onto existing homes. The minimum number of children necessary for eligibility would be lowered to one from two, and the home size eligibility threshold would drop to 45sqm from 60sqm. The proposal did not contain any estimate for the fiscal impact of the changes, Portfolio.hu said. About HUF 12.6 billion was earmarked for such subsidies in the 2012 budget, it added. Interest in the subsidy has been limited, because of tight conditions. The subsidy is available only to first-home buyers without tax arrears who have been employed for at least six months. Home buyers awarded the subsidy must not sell their homes for ten years or face full repayment of the support.

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