Giving first home buyers a leg up

Column Articles
Thursday, July 2, 2015

Buying your first house is a big deal and can be a real challenge.

We all can feel how fast Tauranga and surrounds are changing fast with lots of new families pouring into the area, increasingly out of Auckland.  We have a good and established framework (Smartgrowth) to manage our local government response to ensure land is freed up for development in a timely and cost effective way.

The Government is helping young families buy their first home with our HomeStart programme and last week about 50 mostly young couples gathered to hear the Minister for Housing, Nick Smith, discuss how the programme can work for them.

On average, after five years in KiwiSaver, a couple will accumulate around $25,000, which they can withdraw for their first home. The Government offers an additional grant of $20,000 for first home buyers, so a couple should have about $45,000 on hand with no additional savings. This equates to a 10% deposit on a $450,000 house, putting you squarely in the market.

Another way we’re making housing more affordable is by supporting increased supply. Around 1,900 new homes will be built in Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty thanks to fast-tracked resource consents which Minister Nick Smith has signed this year.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, check out https://www.national.org.nz/policies/homestart. I appreciate that getting your foot into the property market can be a challenge; however, I know these developments are a breath of fresh air for many young couples who are looking to settle down in the Bay.