Opunake Coastal Column - National increases its support for first-home buyers

Columns
Monday, August 8, 2016

National’s KiwiSaver HomeStart helps New Zealanders into a modest first home.

It has been great over the last few months to meet local people who have been able to get into their first home by accessing the KiwiSaver Homestart scheme.  Since the Government launched the scheme, it has helped many thousand New Zealanders into their first homes and the Government has now decided to increase the income and house price caps applying to the scheme to help more first home buyers get a foot on the property ladder.

As many will know, the scheme is about helping first-home buyers put together a deposit with grants available for couples of up to $10,000 for an existing home, and up to $20,000 for a new-build.

Effective immediately, the income caps for participants in the scheme have been increased – to $85,000 for a single person, and to $130,000 for a couple. 

Also effective immediately, the house price limits have increased by $50,000 for existing homes, and by $100,000 for new-builds across the country.

The new caps for here in Taranaki are $400,000 for existing homes, and $450,000 for new-build houses

We expect to assist 90,000 New Zealanders into their first home over five years.

These increases will also be applied to the Welcome Home loans – the loans which enable first home buyers to buy with a 10 per cent deposit and, because they are Crown-guaranteed, they are exempt from the loan-to-value ratio limits administered by the Reserve Bank.

These latest steps are part of National’s wider package of measures to address the challenge of housing supply and affordability in our strong, growing economy.
Part of this package also includes reforming the Resource Management Act to make it easier for councils and developers to get houses consented and built; and tightened rules to ensure people buying and selling property for profit pay their fair share of tax and requiring councils to ensure land supply for housing keeps pace with growth.