Auckland house buyer

PHOTO: Monique Bajwa says buying her first home is “seemingly more and more impossible”. Source: Breakfast

An Auckland woman who’s a prospective first home buyer is calling for the Government’s housing grant cap to be raised as it becomes “seemingly more and more impossible” to enter the market.

New Zealand is seeing its lowest home ownership rate in 70 years, and to help tackle the issue, the Government introduced the First Home Grant scheme to help Kiwis buy a home, even if they had just a 5 per cent deposit.

Under the grant, a hopeful homeowner can access up to $10,000, or $20,000 per couple, to top up their deposit. However, people can only apply on their own if their income is below $85,000 in the past year, or have a combined income under $130,000 in the past year for couples.

There is also a regional price cap on houses you are allowed to purchase under the First Home Grant, including $600,000 for an established home in Auckland, or $650,000 for a new build, despite the median price for a home in the city being over $1 million.

Last November, the Government said it was looking to adjust the earnings threshold but there has yet to be any progress.

Auckland mother and prospective home buyer Monique Bajwa is looking for a two-to three-bedroom home for herself, her husband and their two young kids but said there was “not much available under the cap price” in their area.

Bajwa told Breakfast the young family had even considered relocating to Christchurch to find a home, but “with Covid at the moment, job security, we just couldn’t really move at the time”.



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