National increases its support for first-home buyers

Column Articles
Thursday, August 11, 2016

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

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. For Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty District the new limit is $500,000 for existing homes, and $550,000 for new-builds.

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.

The package includes:

Creating special housing areas in high-demand areas to fast-track the building of homes;
A $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate new housing in the high-demand areas where it’s needed most;
Establishing independent Urban Development Authorities to accelerate housing development in high-demand areas;
Reforming the Resource Management Act to make it easier for councils and developers to get houses consented and built;
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.

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.