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REINZ Sees 2022 Budget’s Support For First Home Buyers As Positive Step

Affordable rental market for all Kiwis remains a challenge

Key highlights

  • REINZ supports changes to First Home Grants and First Home Loans as positive move for first home buyers and backs six-monthly reviews
  • REINZ supports funding for public housing. However, recognises the added cost and restrictions from Government have made it harder for the private sector to participate in the provision of the affordable rentals New Zealanders need
  • REINZ believes it’s important that Government continues to build the infrastructure New Zealand needs for housing and business growth.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) welcomes today’s budget announcement, particularly changes to First Home Grants and First Home Loans, which better reflect the reality of the housing market and will be welcome news for weary first home buyers.

REINZ supports funding for public housing through the Affordable Housing Fund to ensure all New Zealanders have a home to live in. However, this funding comes against a backdrop of rising costs and restrictions from Government that have made it harder for the private sector to support delivery in the low to middle price bracket.

Jen Baird, Chief Executive at REINZ, says: “Today’s budget announcement will bring some welcome relief for first home buyers. For those who have felt locked out of the property market as it moved quickly over the last two years, changes to first home grants and loans will give this buyer segment confidence to reconsider their opportunities. However, navigating tighter lending criteria, as well as increasing inflation, global economic uncertainty and rising interest rates will remain a challenge for some buyers.

“REINZ believes the introduction of six-monthly reviews of house price and income caps for First Home Grants and First Home Loan is overdue and a sensible move to ensure these are up to date and continue to reflect market changes,” adds Baird.

“The $350 million Affordable Housing Fund may address some of the affordability issues surrounding public and social housing. However, costs and restrictions put in place over the past couple of years by Government have progressively made this space less attractive for private sector investors who have, as a result, stepped back from participating in the rental sector.

“Additionally, it's important that the Government continues to build the infrastructure New Zealand needs for housing and business growth. The Government’s ability to continue to build through economic cycles and invest in intergenerational infrastructure will enable the delivery of the new houses and new commercial precincts New Zealand needs in order to thrive into the future,” Baird concludes.

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