Southland and Otago top FirstHome sales

17:00, May 04 2014

Nearly half the homes so far sold through the Government's FirstHome scheme are in Southland and Otago.

Figures show of the 52 homes so far sold through the scheme, 18 were sold in Southland and Otago.

Of those, eight were in Dunedin and six in Invercargill. One further property is under negotiation in Invercargill.

The two cities come in with the highest and second-highest number of homes sold in the country.

The third-highest was Levin, where five homes have been sold, while Blenheim, with four homes sold, was the fourth-highest. Two homes have been sold in Balclutha, one house sold in Cromwell and one in Gore.

Housing New Zealand chief executive Glen Sowry said the scheme was a great way to help people into their first home.

The programme is designed for people on modest incomes who can afford to make mortgage repayments but have difficulty saving for a deposit.

The FirstHome policy resulted in surplus and empty state homes being offered to first-home buyers. The Government gives buyers 10 per cent of the value of the mortgage, but no more than $20,000.

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