Bishop welcomes government first home buyer package

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chris Bishop, National List MP based in the Hutt Valley, says the KiwiSaver HomeStart support package for first home buyers that comes into effect today will help more first home buyers in Hutt Valley achieve the dream of owning their own home.

Mr Bishop welcomed the start of the package with the Prime Minister this afternoon at a new housing development in Pomare, where they met with prospective buyers who will be enabled by the increased Government support.

The package comprises three changes:

  • Replacing the KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy with a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, doubling the support for buying a new home and increasing the house price limits;
  • Enabling larger KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawals by including the member’s tax credit (meaning first home buyers will now be able to withdraw all of their KiwiSaver savings except the $1000 kick-start);
  • Expanding eligibility for Welcome Home Loans by aligning the house price caps with the new KiwiSaver HomeStart grant.

In Hutt City, the new house price caps for the KiwiSaver HomeStart and Welcome Home Loans schemes will be increased from $350,000 to $450,000.  In Upper Hutt, the new house price caps will be increased from $300,000 to $450,000.

This means many more people in the Hutt Valley will be able to get government support when buying their first home.

“The three changes in this package all operate together to make it easier for first home buyers to buy their first home. For example, a couple, each on the average income of $50,000, will after five years in KiwiSaver, now be able to withdraw $35,000 from their KiwiSaver accounts, obtain a HomeStart grant of $20,000 and with this $55,000 deposit, be eligible for a Welcome Home Loan requiring only a 10 per cent deposit – enabling them to be in the market for a new home of up to $450,000”, says Mr Bishop.

A new information campaign with Housing New Zealand is also being launched today, to encourage people to take up the new opportunities for home ownership that this scheme offers. There is a new website which explains eligibility, the income and various regional house price caps, and how the three programmes of KiwiSaver, HomeStart and Welcome Home Loans work. The website is www.kiwisaver-homestart.co.nz.

“The HomeStart package announced today complements the wide programme of work the Government already has underway to improve housing supply and affordability, which includes opening up new residential land, reducing tariffs on building materials, investing more in skills, and reducing compliance costs.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for the Hutt Valley”, says Mr Bishop.