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REINZ Calls For Review Of Home Start Grant Following Rapid Rises In House Prices In NZ

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is today calling for the government to review the thresholds for the home start grant following the rapid pace at which house prices in New Zealand have grown.

In the last 12 months, median house prices across the country have risen by 20% which now means that only 33% of properties in New Zealand* are below the threshold to be eligible for the home start grant down from 40% in June.

Bindi Norwell, Chief Executive at REINZ says: “The Home Start grant is a great initiative from Kainga Ora and anything that helps first time buyers to get onto the property market is to be welcomed. However, with house prices having risen by 20% over the last year alone, and with median prices in Auckland hitting the $1 million mark for the first time, it’s our view that the caps should be reviewed in order to help first home buyers.

“The latest house price rises have meant that only 33% of properties sold are now below the threshold down from 40% just 4 months ago,” she continues.

“If you’re in Queenstown-Lakes, Porirua City or Wellington City, less than 10% of properties selling in the current market are below the local thresholds making it extremely difficult for first home buyers in these areas. It’s not much better in Auckland, Kapiti or Hamilton with 12%, 13% and 16% of properties respectively being eligible for a home start grant.

“If you’re in Christchurch City or Waimakariri District, then you’re in luck – as more than 50% of properties sold in those areas are eligible for a Home Start Grant,” she continues.

With the significant prices rises seen across most part of the country, REINZ would also like to see the RMA reform becomes a priority for the new government

“If we can put the ‘ambulance at the top of the cliff’ and address some of the wider barriers to being able to build at speed and scale, such as the RMA, then hopefully that will go some way to starting to solving the shortage of supply that we’ve had for a number of years now,” concludes Norwell.

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