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Govt gifts deposits to regional buyers

First-home buyers in the regions will be given a 10% deposit from the Government if they buy state houses that are not needed by the Government.

The FirstHome initiative has been announced by Housing Minister Nick Smith.

He said: “FirstHome will improve housing outcomes at both ends of the affordability spectrum. It will help modest income families in provincial New Zealand buy their first home. It will also free up capital from these surplus vacant properties to invest in new state houses in high demand areas like Auckland and Christchurch.”

To qualify, the buyers must be purchasing their first home and have an income equal or less than the national household average of $53,000 for one person and $80,600 for two or more.

They must commit to living in the house for a minimum of three years.

Housing New Zealand will make a grant of 10 per cent of the property’s market value, up to a maximum of $20,000. Buyers may also be eligible for other home ownership assistance such as the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy and savings withdrawal, and a Welcome Home Loan.

“Housing New Zealand advises that with the high holding costs of these properties with council rates, vandalism and upkeep, the cost of the FirstHome grants will largely be offset. The revenue from the sales will be used to help fund the $2.9 billion record investment in Housing New Zealand’s state housing stock to ensure homes are in the right place, are of the right size and are of good quality,” Smith said.

“The first 41 of these homes will be ready for sale on October 7 and consist of properties from Otorohanga to Invercargill. They have an average market valuation of $120,000. 100 properties will be available in the first year, with about 400 available for sale over the next three years. The properties available for FirstHome are those that are vacant and unlikely to be required for eligible state house tenants because of their size and location.”

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