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Building a house on a site from parents

Building a new home is very exciting.  There are many things to consider and decisions to be made.  Here are some of the first steps involved if you are getting a site from a parent or family member on which to build. 


Firstly, you should engage an Engineer/Architect to view the site and consider its suitability for building a house and likelihood of getting planning permission. Your Engineer/Architect will guide you through the planning process and house design.


If the site is being gifted to you, an Auctioneer must prepare a valuation of the open market value of the site.  This valuation is necessary to calculate (or assess) the taxes that will apply.


Stamp Duty -This is paid by the person receiving/purchasing the site at a rate of 7.5% of its market value. However, if you build a house on the site, you can claim a refund of two thirds of the Stamp Duty if certain conditions are complied with. Your solicitor will explain these to you.

Capital Acquisitions Tax (C.A.T.) – This is a tax on gifts and inheritances. Currently a child can receive a total of €335,000 worth of assets (e.g. property, money) from their parents tax free in their lifetime.  If receiving a gift of a site from an uncle, aunt, brother, sister or grandparent, the tax-free threshold is €32,500. Tax is payable on the gifts/inheritances, or any portion that exceed these tax-free thresholds at a rate of 33%.

Capital Gains Tax (C.G.T.) – The person selling or gifting the site to you may incur a C.G.T. liability if it has increased in value since they acquired it.  The rate of C.G.T. payable on the increase in value is 33%. A small personal allowance of €1,270 can be claimed annually.

There is however, a full exemption where a parent transfers a site to a child, if certain conditions are complied with, such as:

  • the site is used for construction of the child’s principal private residence: and
  • the market value of the site does not exceed €500,000.
  • The site must be less than one acre.


Your Engineer/Architect will prepare a Land Registry compliant map outlining the site to be transferred to you, which should include any necessary sewerage percolation area in compliance with Planning Permission requirements and also, site access requirement. 


Each party to the transaction must engage a Solicitor to represent them, and who will arrange for the drafting of the legal documents for signing. Your Solicitor will stamp the Deed of Transfer with the Revenue Commissioners and apply to the Land Registry to register the site your name.


If you are getting a mortgage to finance the build your Solicitor and Engineer/Architect will assist you with the process of loan drawdown at the various stages of the build.

If you would like more information on the transfer of a site, you can call us on 065 6840060 or email to make an appointment.

This article does not constitute legal advice and where an opinion is expressed, it is the personal opinion of the author only and not of the firm or the paper.