PHOTO: 5 Quartz Lane, Hikuwai

Home ownership opportunities under $500,000 remain few and far between in Wanaka these days.
However, thanks to the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust’s (QLCHT) ground-breaking assisted ownership model, Secure Home, this remains a real option for many.

The Trust has recently completed construction of six new homes in the popular Hikuwai subdivision, and just one remains available for sale.

QLCHT executive officer Julie Scott confirms the last two-bedroom property is for sale at just $392,000.

“This smart standalone home is great buying for someone, especially when the market value of the property is closer to double the Secure Home purchase price,” she says.

The affordable prices are possible through the premise of the Secure Home programme, whereby the household buys in at the cost of construction and then pays a below-market ground rent on the land.

“With a 20% deposit, a household would end up paying around $500 per week in mortgage repayments, ground rent and other outgoings. Compare this to the cost of renting a brand new property, along with the other benefits of the home ownership, and it’s a no-brainer to be in your own home rather than renting,” Scott adds.

The ground rent at the Hikuwai property has been set at 1.5% on the land value, which equates to $89 per week.

Many potential buyers will be able to use their KiwiSaver, access the HomeStart grant, and may only need a 5% deposit if they qualify for the Government’s First Home Loan, Scott says.

“Anyone in the Wanaka community who is interested in this opportunity should register their interest online via our website immediately.”

Over the past three months QLCHT has sold 29 properties under its Secure Home programme between its Hikuwai development and the Toru apartments in Queenstown.

The first of its kind in New Zealand, Secure Home is a programme where people purchase the properties through a 100-year land lease arrangement, with the Trust retaining ownership of the land in perpetuity.

Established to manage and deliver affordable housing solutions to residents who cannot afford it, QLCHT has several programmes in place to help low-moderate income households including public housing, assisted rental, rent-to-buy, and assisted ownership.

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