New Zealand has a strong, growing economy. Incomes are rising, there are more jobs and interest rates are at an around 50-year low.
That means a family with a $300,000 mortgage is now paying around $300 a week less in interest than they were when we were elected.
All that is putting extra demand on our housing market, not just in Auckland but also in other high demand areas like Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga and Hamilton.
National has a comprehensive package of measures underway to address the challenge of housing supply and affordability.
Our package includes:
- Creating special housing areas in high demand areas across New Zealand to fast-track the building of homes.
- A $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate new housing in the high-demand areas where it’s needed most. The new fund will focus squarely on financing infrastructure like roads and water needed to support new housing.
- Setting up independent Urban Development Authorities to speed up housing development in high-demand areas - they’ve proved successful in many other countries.
- Reforming the Resource Management Act to make it easier for councils and developers to get houses consented and built.
- Tightened rules to ensure people buying and selling property for profit pay their fair share of tax.
- Requiring Councils to ensure land supply for housing keeps pace with growth.
- Passed legislation to restrict Council development charges to reduce the cost of building.
There are no quick fixes – these issues are longstanding – but there are positive signs we’re making good progress.
Our results so far:
- 85,000 new houses to be built in this term of Parliament.
- 40 houses built every working day in Auckland, four times what it was when we were elected.
- Over 28,000 building consents issued in year to May 2016 - double the number of five years ago.
- Over 2,000 homes to be built on Crown land we’ve freed up in Auckland and Christchurch.
- 209 special housing areas created across New Zealand to speed up development of an estimated 70,000 homes.
- 12,000 New Zealanders helped into their first home in the year to March 2016 with HomeStart grants from the Government of up to $20,000 for a couple to put towards buying their first home.
- Around 2,000 homes to be built on redeveloped Housing New Zealand land over the next two years.
- 42,000 apprentices currently in training and we’re funding 8,000 more apprentices and trades training places across the country over the next four years.
- 40,000 more people working in the construction industry across the country than two years ago.
The best way to address housing affordability is to build more houses and build them faster and we have a comprehensive programme underway to help make this happen.
We will not allow unresponsive planning and slow infrastructure development to lock New Zealanders out of much-needed housing.
National also has a comprehensive programme of work underway around social and emergency housing to ensure people can get help when they need it most.
Our focus will continue to be on addressing this housing challenge and helping New Zealanders and their families get ahead.
HomeStart changes – 1 August 2016
From 1 August 2016, some important changes to the HomeStart scheme came into effect that will help more Kiwis get into their first home.
We’ve increased house price limits and lifted income limits to enable more Kiwis to access government grants of up to $20,000 per couple to put towards a deposit on their own home.
We’ve lifted the house price limits for existing houses by $50,000 and for new-builds by $100,000.
That means the new house price limits are:
- Existing houses – price limit increases from $550,000 to $600,000
- New-builds – price limit increases from $550,000 to $650,000
Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Nelson City, Tasman District, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District and Queenstown Lakes District
- Existing houses – price limit increases from $450,000 to $500,000
- New-builds – price limit increases from 450,000 to $550,000
Rest of New Zealand
- Existing houses – price limit increases from $350,000 to $400,000
- New-builds – price limit increases from $350,000 to $450,000
- Individual income limit increases from $80,000 to $85,000pa
- Joint incomes limit increases from $120,000 to $130,000pa
The HomeStart scheme is expected to help around 90,000 New Zealanders into their first home over five years.