KiwiBuild fever strikes Wanaka

Being able to own their own home at an affordable price is the motivation for couples like Emilee...
Being able to own their own home at an affordable price is the motivation for couples like Emilee Laurie-Fendall and James Leech to enter the KiwiBuild ballot for the first 10 homes at Northlake. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
The chance to own a house at an affordable price in the country's most expensive district is alluring to young Wanaka couples.

The ballot doors swung open yesterday for the first 10 of 211 KiwiBuild houses in the town's Northlake subdivision, and some would-be owners are already preparing their paperwork.

The four two-bedroom and six three-bedroom detached houses will cost between $565,000 and $650,000.

The ballot closes in a month and the houses will be ready for families to move into by Christmas.

Cardrona skifield workers Emilee Laurie-Fendall (29) and James Leech (32), who have lived in Wanaka for 18 months, have already begun the pre-qualification process.

"We wanted to live in the mountains and Wanaka is perfect for that,'' Ms Laurie-Sendall said yesterday.

"We've been seriously looking for a house for six months but everything in our price range just gets snapped up so fast.''

"It would give us security.

"Both of my partner's parents died in the last year and he's been looking for some security in his life. Owning our own home will provide that.''

For electrician Brandon Dickson (26) and wife Constance Pozniak (24), securing one of the houses would "mean an awful lot security-wise''.

They have lived in Wanaka for three years since moving from Wellington and dream of settling permanently.

"It would be good to buy something in the area and be able to own a home in such an amazing place,'' Mr Dickson said.

While he was not overly confident about their chances of winning one of the first 10 houses, he believed the odds were "pretty good'' to get one of the 211.

Since KiwiBuild registrations opened on July 4, there had been 3279 registrations of interest for a house in the Queenstown-Lakes district, compared with 1676 in Dunedin.

KiwiBuild stakeholder engagement and communications general manager Rachel Smalley said there had been no ballot entries by last night, as interested parties would be completing the pre-qualifying process.

That would take about two weeks and there was likely to be a rush of entries at the end of the month.

People could go in the ballot for one or all 10 houses if they wished.

Ms Smalley said there were "well over 1100 ballots'' for an 18-house KiwiBuild development in South Auckland that closed last week.

Prospective buyers must provide proof of financing, earn less than $180,000 for a couple, or less than $120,000 for an individual, and be willing to sign a statutory declaration saying they will not sell or rent out their home for at least three years.

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