National plans to double grant for first home buyers

Prime Minister Bill English has promised to double its Home Start grant for first home buyers at an announcement in Hobsonville this morning.

National has promised to "make it easier for first home buyers" to get a deposit, by doubling the financial support available for those buying an existing house.

The Home Start grant would also be increased for new builds.

Housing New Zealand spokesperson, Amy Adams said every Kiwi should be able to buy their own house if they want to.

" we are building on our existing suite of measures to support first home-buyers," she said.

The changes mean a couple will be eligible for an extra $10,000 of Government HomeStart Grants, taking the grants to $20,000 for an existing home or $30,000 for a new build.

Ms Adams said this could see a further 80,000 people into their first home over the next four years.

Building and Construction spokesman Dr Nick Smith said the grant complemented other government measures to support first home buyers.

These included: Welcome Home Loans, which allow first home buyers to access Government-backed mortgages with a 10% deposit.

KiwiSaver FirstHome Withdrawals, which allow New Zealanders to access all of their KiwiSaver funds to put towards a deposit.

"Take a couple on the average wage in Auckland who have been in KiwiSaver for five years and are looking to buy their first home," Dr Smith said.

"Between the $20,000 HomeStart Grant and their KiwiSaver withdrawal, they will have around $60,000 for a deposit for an existing home.

"Add in a Government-backed Welcome Home Loan, which means they only need a 10% deposit, and they have enough for a house worth up to $600,000 - the Auckland HomeStart cap for existing homes - without needing other savings."

The latest QV average for the Auckland area, in August this year, was $1.014m.

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