First home buyers jump into scheme

Last updated 05:00 09/08/2014

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Hundreds of extra New Zealanders have bought property using the Government's first-home buyers scheme since income and house price caps were lifted last year.

Amid a clampdown on low-deposit lending, figures made public by Housing New Zealand show that, in the year to June, just over $326 million was lent to 1429 first-home buyers under the Welcome Home Loan scheme. That compares with just under $172.3m and 845 the year before.

In October, the Government changed the lending criteria for the scheme, which helps first-time buyers into a house with only a 10 per cent deposit and excludes them from bank lending restrictions. The changes lifted the income threshold for first-home buyers from $100,000 to $120,000 a couple, as well as raising the house price cap.

The figures show that in Wellington, 122 people received the subsidy in the year to June, compared with 58 the year before. In Auckland, the number climbed from 52 to 133, and in Hawke's Bay from 60 to 108.

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