Searches for new homes on the property website surged by 130% on Tuesday after the Government announced the help to buy scheme for first-time buyers in the Budget 2017. said that interest among buyers was greatest in the Dublin area along with the commuter counties followed by Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford cities.

The company said that, on average, over 1,000 property searches occur on every minute.

The new Government initiative will provide a rebate of income tax paid over the previous four tax years up to a maximum of 5% of the purchase price of a newly built home up to a value of €400,000, to first time buyers.

No rebate will be paid on house purchases in excess of €600,000.

The scheme will apply to the purchase of newly-built homes by first-time buyers from 19 July of this year until the end of 2019. 

Second-hand properties are not included in the measure.