Nightmare for couple seeking dream home
CULTURE AND CAPITAL DAY REPORTER
Does the Government need to do more to help Kiwi families buy homes?
Finding an affordable home has proved a challenge for Madeleine and Andre Alberts.
Yesterday the Government announced its long-awaited response to a Productivity Commission housing affordability inquiry, saying opening up more land for development both within city limits and on city outskirts was the answer. It also said there would be greater direction given to local authorities to increase land supply.
House prices soared between 2001 and 2006, causing a drop in home ownership rates to 65 per cent from 75 per cent.
The Government says it will work with councils to free up more land both within and outside city boundaries for new housing, and will look at other ways to reduce consent delays.
The Alberts, who have a daughter Chandrae, 8, dream of one day owning and living on a lifestyle block. In the meantime they are seeking a low-cost home that needs some renovation, which they would be able to sell for a profit.
The family have been searching for years for a home on the Kapiti Coast and are finding affordable homes only in "shocking" areas.
Houses in nicer areas have been above their budget, Mrs Alberts says.
Every weekend they attend open homes and meet real estate agents, but they have seen just one property that has fitted their requirements.
"Some houses we have seen are cheap but you can't really do anything with it, you have to break it totally down and rebuild it. [We see] nice houses in shocking neighbourhoods, or in nice areas they are so much money and are out of our price range."
They are renting a lifestyle block in Waikanae for $550 a week.
Mrs Alberts says it would help for that sort of spending to be recognised when banks consider how much to lend. "If we can afford to pay almost $600 a week, don't they think we could afford this in mortgage repayments?"
- The Dominion Post
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