KiwiBuild reset reduces deposit needed to buy first home

  • Hon Dr Megan Woods

The Government is taking action to ensure more low and middle income New Zealanders can buy their own home, with the announcement of an innovative new ownership scheme as part of the KiwiBuild reset and a reduction in the deposit requirement to 5%.

A progressive home ownership scheme as part of KiwiBuild is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Green Party.

“All three parties in Government, Labour, the Greens, and New Zealand First, are committed to getting more New Zealanders into home ownership with innovative new approaches.

“Building significant numbers of affordable homes is a long-term challenge that will take time, but we can set up new home ownership models and reduce deposit requirements now to make it easier for people to get into their first home,” Housing Minister Megan Woods said.

“We’ve set aside $400 million from the KiwiBuild appropriation for a progressive home ownership scheme, like shared equity, to help more people buy their own home. 

“We campaigned on helping more people into their first home and this new scheme will help struggling families buy a share of a house, reducing both the deposit needed to get a mortgage, and their repayments.

“The scheme will mean that over time the family can buy further chunks of the mortgage until they own the home outright.

“We will also be reducing the deposit required for a Government-backed mortgage to 5%, and changing policy settings so that family and friends can each use their $10,000 First Home Grant and their KiwiSavers to buy their first home together.

“Taken together, these changes will help more people access innovative new support to buy a home, and help people who have been locked out of the market,” says Megan Woods.

Green Party Co-leader and housing spokesperson Marama Davidson welcomed the changes.

“We secured a progressive home ownership scheme as part of KiwiBuild when we entered Government and that’s exactly what we’ve seen announced today.

“$400 million will deliver meaningful change for the people who are locked out of home ownership by high rents and low wages.

“Saving a deposit for a home is no longer achievable for many New Zealanders. The way we have approached housing in this country has increasingly locked people out.

“As a Government we will now be rolling out progressive homeownership schemes, and supporting community housing providers and iwi to deliver progressive home ownership.

This announcement is a great start because it provides a pathway to affordable home ownership for those most in need.

“At the same time, we will continue to build more public houses per year than any Government of the past three decades, and will also be taking steps to rebalance the rental market. This is a significant programme of work to truly transform our approach to housing in Aotearoa,” says Marama Davidson.