Berlin (dpa) - Almost two years after the introduction of the Baukindergeld, around a quarter of a million families have used the funding to finance their own four walls.

The state-owned KfW Bank announced to the German press agency that the volume applied for by the end of July was 5.2 billion euros.

A few months before the end of the application period, a good half of the money has been awarded.

Since September 18, 2018, families have been able to receive state subsidies to build a house or buy a property.

There are 12,000 euros per child, paid out in ten annual installments of 1200 euros each.

The final application for child benefit is if a building permit is issued on December 31, 2020 or a purchase contract is signed.

A total of 9.9 billion euros are available.

According to KfW, 43 percent of the recipients have one or two children, 11 percent have three.

Two thirds of the Baukindergeld customers live with children up to the age of six.

The performance had repeatedly been criticized, for example that it continued to cheer real estate prices or that families benefited who actually did not need the money.

According to KfW data, around 60 percent of recipients have an average taxable household income of no more than 40,000 euros per year.

The upper limit is 90,000 euros for one child and 15,000 euros more for each additional child.

KfW will also check retrospectively in random samples whether the claim actually exists.

In a few cases, the money was reclaimed because the funding conditions were not met, as the spokeswoman said.

In some cases, the funding ended because the recipients no longer owned the apartment or house.

In both cases, the numbers were in the low three-digit range, it said.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200902-99-396514 / 2