‘Pointless’ — First Home grant increasingly out of touch with property market

PHOTO: First Home Grant 


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The planned overhaul of First Home Grant income and property price caps won’t happen until the New Year.

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Photo: 123rf

The grants offer up to $10,000 towards a buyer’s first home or $20,000 for a couple.

The number of grants approved this year is on track to be the lowest since the scheme began, despite a lifting of caps in April.

Little has changed since then with just 8283 grants paid out as of the end of October, with just two months to go and significantly short of the 13,978 grants approved last year.

First Home Grant caps

First Home Grant caps might soon be pegged to house price inflation

The lowest number before this year was 2015, with 11,665 grants approved, which was the first full year of the scheme being implemented.

For example the cap for a new build in Auckland went up to $700,000 and $650,000 in Wellington.

In August the government admitted it had got the caps wrong and promised an update in a couple of months.

Housing Minister Megan Woods said the policy work was now ready to go to Cabinet for approval.

“There has been a bit of delay with some processes this year, obviously we’ve had a lot of Covid papers through, so that will be up early in the new year,” she said.

First Home Grant

‘Way too many hoops’: First Home Grant payouts fall short

Woods said if proposed changes are approved by Cabinet, the caps will be reviewed much more frequently.

“The way it has operated in the past is that it is a decision that has to go to back to Cabinet in an ad hoc way, I’ve wanted to look at a way that we can regularise that more.