Opunake & Coastal News Column 3 July - Getting into your first home

Columns
Friday, July 3, 2015

There are certain things that are quintessential to being a kiwi, such as BBQs in summer, camping by the sea, exaggerating the size of your catch off the coast last weekend and working towards owning your own home.  

The opportunity to own your first home is now a step closer with the new KiwiSaver HomeStart program.  We are in a great position here in Taranaki, with prices for homes lower than our major cities and an incredible lifestyle included.  If you have been registered with

KiwiSaver for 5 years, couples will now be able to apply for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant of up to $20,000 if they are buying a brand-new house, or $10,000 if they are buying an existing home, under the house price limits.  Included in the HomeStart scheme is the opportunity withdraw the full amount of savings from Kiwisaver.  To find out more about the Homestart program you can come along to an information evening with Hon Nick Smith on Tuesday 7th July 7pm at the Plymouth Hotel.

We are also working in other areas of home ownership including record investment in building apprenticeships and removing tariffs on building materials. There has been an 81 per cent increase in building consents nationally since 2011. And $14.6 billion worth of building work was carried out last year – a 21 per cent increase on the previous year.

A bill to help Inland Revenue enforce the tax rules around property is now before Parliament.  It includes two measures to take effect on 1 October to help ensure everyone – whether New Zealanders or from overseas – pays their fair share of tax on property gains.

Buyers and sellers of property will have to provide their IRD numbers at the time of property transfer.  There will be an exemption for New Zealand residents’ main home.

And to ensure our anti-money laundering rules apply, we’ll require overseas people to have a New Zealand bank account to get an IRD number.

We’re also putting in place a ‘bright line’ test on 1 October.  Under this new test, gains from residential property sold within two years of purchase will be taxed, unless the property is the seller’s main home, inherited from a deceased’s estate, or transferred as part of a relationship property settlement.

This Government is taking action on many fronts to improve housing affordability and ensure more people achieve the Kiwi dream of owning their own home.