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KiwiSaver HomeStart is playing an increasing role in helping home buyers purchase their first property, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“The second full year of the scheme has seen 15,400 first home buyers assisted with $75 million of grants, an increase of $10 million over the previous year. A total of 30,943 people have been helped with grants of $148,139,000 since the scheme started in April 2015. They are on track to deliver on the target of 90,000 grants over five years as promised when the scheme was announced in Election 2014.

“The growth in the use of KiwiSaver funds for the purchase of a new house is even more dramatic, growing to $655 million in the second full year, up from $495 million in the previous year.

“The importance of KiwiSaver HomeStart is that the most difficult hurdle to overcome for first home buyers, particularly with low interest rates, is pulling together the funds for a deposit. The scheme has assisted with more than $1.4 billion to date in funds for a deposit for first home buyers.

“We now have all of the key housing data trending in the right direction. House build rates are at the highest level in a decade and 100,000 homes are in the pipeline over the next three years. House price inflation is trending down and is now at the lowest rate for six years, of 3 per cent. We have the proportion of first home buyers trending up and at the highest level since the GFC.”

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