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REINZ welcomes innovative KiwiBuild reset announcement

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “The issues with KiwiBuild have been well documented by critics over the last 12 months, however, what’s important now is to focus on the bigger picture and that is to fix the programme and to provide affordable housing for those who need it most – particularly as home ownership is at its lowest level in 60 years.

“We welcome a number of the initiatives announced by Minister Woods today including the ‘progressive home ownership’ model which sees Government backed deposits lowered from 10% to 5%. This will significantly help a number of first home buyers, as saving for that initial deposit was often the biggest hurdle to getting on the property ladder. The 5% deposit for Government backed deposits means that Queenstown-Lakes is now the only area in the country where the deposit required to purchase a median priced home would be in excess of $50,000,” continues Norwell (see Table 1 below). Rent to buy type schemes are a good example of new ownership models to support people into homes.

“It is fantastic to see the Government has considered a number of new options, including allowing family and friends to combine their $10,000 First Home Grants and their KiwiSaver to purchase a home together. Purchasing a home with friends and family appears to be becoming a more common option for individuals who cannot viably do it alone,” she points out.

“For the new houses built under the scheme we would love to see some innovative building methods and really good use of spatial planning and urban design. We would also like to see properties built close to existing infrastructure such as public transport or amenities such as shops and cafes.

“Underpinning the whole initiative will be the importance of addressing issues such as red tape, speeding up of consents and the build process, using modern pre-fabrication building methodology and reducing the cost of build where possible.

“We look forward to further announcements in due course on shared equity models which could provide further opportunities to get people into housing more quickly,” concludes Norwell.

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