Daft.ie searches for properties in the higher tier increased by 11%

Property website Daft.ie says there was a 9% rise in searches for properties that qualify for the new Government-backed mortgage scheme last week.

Under the plans, some first-time buyers can get a mortgage from local authorities for properties worth up to €320,000 in the greater Dublin area, Cork or Galway.

The cap in the rest of the country is €250,000.

The mortgages are available to couples who earn less than €75,000, or single people who earn less than €50,000.

Under the scheme, buyers can choose a fixed rate of 2%-2.25% interest for 25-30 years.

Applicants are able to apply for the scheme since yesterday.

According to Daft.ie, searches for properties in the higher tier increased by 11% week-on-week.

Searches for those in the lower threshold, meanwhile, were up 7%.

Martin Clancy from Daft.ie said: "Our research has revealed that the announcement has had a very definite impact on the property searches users are now making."

But NUI Galway housing expert Dr Padraic Kenna says there's a big difference between the numbers expressing interest and the numbers who'll be able to buy a home: