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Regional New Zealand benefits from HomeStart

Regional New Zealand benefits from HomeStart

Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today released the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment’s estimates of the number of first home buyers in provincial New Zealand who are to benefit from the Government’s new KiwiSaver HomeStart package in Palmerston North with local mayor Jono Naylor.

“The Government recognises that home ownership and affordability is not just an issue in our metropolitan cities. We want to give all New Zealanders a helping hand to be able to attain the dream to owning their own home, giving families greater security and building stronger communities,” Dr Smith says.

“Every region of New Zealand will be getting extra support for their first home buyers under our KiwiSaver HomeStart package. The increase is well illustrated in Palmerston North, where last year 224 people received assistance under the KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal Subsidy. HomeStart more than doubles this to an average of 580 per year, or 2900 over the next five years.”

The HomeStart package comprises three changes. Firstly, the grant is doubled for newly built homes and the house price caps have been increased. Secondly KiwiSavers will be able to withdraw more of their savings for a first home deposit. Thirdly, the eligibility for Welcome Home Loans scheme which enables only a 10 per cent deposit has been expanded.

“Home ownership is higher in provincial New Zealand than in metropolitan cities but there has still been a decline over the past 30 years. This package is targeted at improving home ownership rates across the country and is particularly focused on helping young people pull together a deposit. It is estimated that two thirds of the recipients of the HomeStart grants will be aged between 20 and 35,” Dr Smith says.

“KiwiSaver HomeStart complements our work that is freeing up more land supply, reducing building material costs, reining in infrastructure and compliance costs and investing in sector skills and productivity,” Dr Smith concluded.


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