Local PR - Taupo first home owners benefit from HomeStart scheme and changes to KiwiSaver rules

Electorate news
Friday, April 29, 2016

There are 131 more first home owners in Taupo since the start of the Government’s HomeStart scheme, which replaced the old KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy a year ago in April 2015.

Changes to the KiwiSaver rules also means that people can combine their HomeStart grant of up to $10,000 per person or up to $20,000 per couple towards a deposit on a new home.

Under KiwiSaver, a couple each earning $40,000 a year could withdraw up to $29,000 after five years for a house deposit.

"It’s pleasing to note that the HomeStart Scheme has helped fund 103 new first homes purchases with grants worth $581,000 in the Taupo region since last year,’ Hon Louise Upston, MP for Taupo says.

"Having a deposit big enough to buy a house has always been a big challenge for most young people wanting to own their own home.

"Therefore, combining their HomeStart grant with the KiwiSaver incentive means a sizeable deposit to buy a first home has become a reality for more people.

"If you haven’t already done so, now might be a good time to join KiwiSaver," Ms Upston says.

Second chance home owners will benefit too from the Government’s latest tweaks to the KiwiSaver withdrawal rules.

"I also welcome the government’s latest tweaks to KiwiSaver income and asset caps, which will help the scheme work better for second-chance homebuyers.

"As of 1 July 2016, the income cap for people who have previously owned their own home but are struggling to get back into ownership after an event such as a separation or business failure, are removed.

"This means a second-chance homeowner whose assets are small will be able to access their KiwiSaver funds to buy a home regardless of how high their income is, which is great news for mid-life, middle-income New Zealanders," Ms Upston says.

KiwiSaver HomeStart is part of the National-led Government’s wide, ongoing programme to improve housing supply and affordability. The overall programme includes freeing up more land for development, measures to help constrain building material costs and compliance costs, and steps to raise the productivity performance of the construction sector.

ENDS

Media Contact - Jess van Haarlem Ph: 021 809 393

Attachments

  • Financial Products Quarter Report – period ending 31 March 2016
  • Summary of First Year HomeStart data