More people are using the KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme, with an increasing proportion of buyers opting for new property.
KiwiSaver HomeStart provides grants of up to $10,000 for an existing home and $20,000 for a new one.
It is complemented by enabling first home buyers to access their KiwiSaver funds and a government guarantee for bank loans, called a Welcome Home loan.
Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith says KiwiSaver HomeStart helped 11,943 first home buyers in year one with $55.6 million of grants, while in year two it helped a further 15,038 first home buyers with $72.9m in grants.
“This growth in assistance is welcome as the most difficult hurdle for first home buyers is pulling together the funds for a deposit. The scheme is forecast to grow to around $100 million next year and is on target to help 90,000 first home buyers with $435 million in grants over five years, as announced in 2015,” says Nick.
“It is also welcome news that the value and proportion of the HomeStart grants being used for new home purchases is growing. In year one, $9.35m was used for new homes, or 17 per cent. In year two, $15.7m was used for new homes, or 22 per cent. This reflects the strong growth in new homes coming on to the market and the government making access to the scheme easier for new home buyers.”
Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller says in Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty, take up of HomeStart grants have grown significantly.
“In total the HomeStart Grant scheme has helped out 1085 local families in both Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty giving them the hand up that they needed. This equates to $5.7m invested in helping our community's first home buyers reach their goal,” he says.
“The grants can help our young people overcome the most difficult hurdle of pulling together the funds for a deposit, and is forecast to help 90,000 first home buyers across New Zealand by 2020.
“Home ownership provides stability for families, strength for communities, and security in retirement. We are working hard so more people in our community can achieve the Kiwi dream of owning their own home.”