Budget 2021

PHOTO: Budget 2021. Image TVNZ

Well done to the Government on funding its housing initiatives, but for most first-home buyers Budget 2021 will make little difference, says one real estate boss.

“It brings to life measures the Government has already announced in recent months. However, it does little to help young Kiwis pull together a deposit or secure a mortgage – both of which are increasingly difficult,” says Derryn Mayne, Owner of Century 21 New Zealand.

Her comments follow Finance Minister Grant Robertson confirming today that Budget 2021 will help deliver more housing supply, with a strong focus on lifting Maori homeownership rates announced.

“Homeownership rates for Maori have always been much lower than the rest of the population, so this is really positive. I was also hoping to see more for first-home buyers generally, with some bold moves to actually get them on the property ladder. Sure, the Government’s already tinkered with the likes of HomeStart Grants and First Home Loans, but in this market much more is required,” she says.

The Century 21 leader says the Finance Minister has long promised to ‘tilt the balance more towards first-home buyers’ but Budget 2021 has not achieved that.

“He could’ve announced partnership models such as ‘rent to buy’ schemes or that the Government would act as loan guarantor for eligible first-home buyers. Another initiative could’ve been interest-free government loans for deposits on first homes – like student loans in tertiary education. It’s those kinds of things that would’ve made a real difference,” she says.

Ms Mayne says access to entry remains. Young Kiwis simply can’t break into the property market, despite many easily able to potentially service a mortgage rather than paying high rents.

“Owning your own house is a huge ‘wellbeing’ advantage for Kiwis at the end of their working lives. While the Government’s housing initiatives announced so far may have individual merit, collectively they’re still not enough to substantially lift the country’s overall property ownership rates. Budget 2021 could’ve changed that, but it didn’t,” says Derryn Mayne.