KiwiBuild and the ban of foreign buyers from purchasing residential property have been listed among the Government’s key achievements of the past year, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying she is “extremely proud” of the initiatives undertaken throughout 2018.
“I am extremely proud of the actions we have taken this year as the Government, some of which include extending paid parental leave, stopping foreign purchasing of Kiwi homes…stopping the State house sell-off and building that first KiwiBuild home,” Ardern stated.
“We have not only brought in KiwiBuild; we stopped the State house sell-off that started under [the last Government], we brought in 1,200 more public housing places and we’ve started building 6,400 State houses.”
The Government also announced this week that Housing New Zealand’s HomeStart grant and Welcome Home loan house caps have been increased to match the KiwiBuild cap. Price caps for new builds outside major cities have increased from $450,000 to $500,000, with Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford saying this will allow more first home buyers to make use of the schemes.
The new cap applies to all new builds outside of Auckland, Queenstown, Greater Wellington, Greater Christchurch, Hamilton, Greater Tauranga, and Nelson-Tasman.
“The cost of this increase is estimated to be around $3 million per year, which will be funded within the existing KiwiSaver Deposit subsidy and Housing New Zealand budgets,” Twyford stated.
“This increase is part of a Government review of home ownership products to better align with KiwiBuild, support more house building and help families own their own homes.”
A number of KiwiBuild homes have already been unveiled in central Wellington, Waikato, New Plymouth and various Auckland suburbs, with more developments planned for the New Year.