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

PHOTO: Damning reviews have called it disconnected, hugely problematic and gut-wrenching. Source: 1 NEWS

There’s mounting pressure on the Government to update First Home grant criteria as a growing number of prospective buyers find the scheme “pointless” for their region.

“Ten thousand dollars on anybody’s deposit is a massive boost,” prospective first home buyer Shaun King told 1 NEWS.

King and his partner Caitlin Richards looked for a house in Porirua under the grant’s regional limit of $500,000 for an existing home, but found prices were too high to be eligible.

They extended their search an hour north to Levin, but there too, prices exceeded that region’s price cap of $400,000 for an existing home.

“To find out we couldn’t even use it… you want to give up but it’s like you can’t, because you still want to get in that market but it’s just impossible,” Richards said.

King added: “Gut-wrenching, really.”

King said whether a prospective first home buyer can qualify for the grant money should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, based on the region the house they are looking to purchase is in and the buyer’s personal factors such as income.

The First Home grant scheme was introduced in 2015 by the National Government to help Kiwis achieve home ownership.

Eligibility has been changed several times since then.