Helping low income families into home ownership

January 17th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

First-home buyers have snapped up a quarter of the vacant put up for sale by the Government, some for under $100,000.

A person earning less than the average wage, who does not own property, can now buy unused state houses in provincial areas with the help of a Government subsidy, which covers up to $20,000 of the cost.

Under the FirstHome scheme, Housing New Zealand has put 99 properties on the block since October and 25 have sold.

The average price for the properties was $125,800.

Housing Minister Nick Smith said the scheme was meeting its target of 100 sales a year. A further 90 people had applied for the subsidy.

The largest number of sales had taken place in Invercargill, Dunedin, Levin and Foxton.

Great. Selling state houses in areas they are no longer needed frees up capital for other areas, and low income families get to go from being tenants to house owners. A win-win.

Of course Labour and Greens oppose it.

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24 Responses to “Helping low income families into home ownership”

  1. alex Masterley (1,538 comments) says:

    There is a good piece in stuff about it as well.
    The mortgage in the subject story is cheaper than rent!
    A good outcome.

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  2. Cactus Kate (536 comments) says:

    Why is this great?
    State assets should be sold at market value to the highest bidder
    Nats didn’t subsidise low income people to buy shares in floats recently at discounted prices so why are they doing it here?
    Blatant feel good nonsense which will only expand under a Labour government into more middle class welfare

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  3. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Why is this great?
    State assets should be sold at market value to the highest bidder
    Nats didn’t subsidise low income people to buy shares in floats recently at discounted prices so why are they doing it here?
    Blatant feel good nonsense which will only expand under a Labour government into more middle class welfare

    Hmmm… I just Trademe’d 3 bedroom houses for sale… $125k seems to be about the average asking price in Invercargill.
    Foxton about the same.
    Levin more like $160k.

    Smile, it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to :-)

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  4. Kleva Kiwi (292 comments) says:

    “Cactus Kate (534 comments) says:
    January 17th, 2014 at 2:13 pm
    Why is this great?
    State assets should be sold at market value to the highest bidder
    Nats didn’t subsidise low income people to buy shares in floats recently at discounted prices so why are they doing it here?
    Blatant feel good nonsense which will only expand under a Labour government into more middle class welfare”

    They are getting sold at market rates. Its just these markets do not have the over inflated land prices Auckland does.
    The only subsidy is the ‘up to $20k’ deposit the buyer gets. That is what you should be focusing on.

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  5. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    So the government is giving people subsidies of up to $20,000 each to make the massive long term financial commitment of buying a home in places like Balclutha, Blenheim, Cromwell, Napier, Marton, Picton, Timaru, Westport, Otorohanga, Havelock North, Foxton, Dunedin, Levin, Invercargill.

    Why does the government have an excess of state houses in these places and why are the property values so low? Could it be because the population is not increasing in these areas and demand is low? Why would that be? What are the employment prospects like? Is the government just paying large subsidies to encourage low income people to live in places with poor employment prospects?

    Also – the cynic in me notices that National is using housing to subsidise people in the regions (which typically vote blue) while Labour, through Kiwibuild, plans to subsidise housing for people in urban centres (which typically vote red).

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  6. MH (830 comments) says:

    p labs. To be defaulted on. If genuine buyers then all well and good,if not then easy come easy go attitude prevails. if the occupiers considered they had value they’d have already bought in the area regardless of subsidy,and if no jobs in the area then this is a scam.

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  7. dime (10,223 comments) says:

    “A person earning less than the average wage, who does not own property, can now buy unused state houses in provincial areas with the help of a Government subsidy, which covers up to $20,000 of the cost.”

    so its for a single person too? families in the headline just to make it sound extra warm and fuzzy?

    its good to see low income slackers finally getting some govt charity.. ffs

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  8. big bruv (14,224 comments) says:

    I am also less than happy if these houses are being sold off at less than market prices.

    Having said that, if that means that the low life stay where they are instead of moving to my suburb then I think I can live with this move by the government.

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  9. J Bloggs (252 comments) says:

    Dime: Hey, not everyone on a low income is a slacker, thank you very much. When I first graduated and went to work in a small regional hospital, my starting wage wasn’t much more than 40K (and that wasn’t that long ago). If this scheme had been around back then, I’d have jumped on it like a flash, even if it meant commuting 3/4hr to and from work everyday (I grew up and trained in Auckland, so well used to that). Levin or Foxton would be great if I was at PN hospital, Marton if at Wanganui. And given the difficulties the regions have in attracting and retaining health workers, this sort of scheme offers a definite incentive for those like myself at the time, to go an work in those areas.

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  10. Paulus (2,715 comments) says:

    30 years ago NZ Forest Products in Tokoroa sold off their owned houses, at good buyer rates, to the employees.
    The pictures I was shown was before – when NZFP owned and rented them to staff, and afterwards when they were privately owned.
    You would not believe after a couple of years of ownership how changed the streets were.
    AND
    NZFP no longer had the upkeep and maintenance cost on their books.

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  11. nasska (12,111 comments) says:

    You bring up an excellent point Paulus. When the majority of houses within a suburb/locality are owned by the occupants the difference in care & pride within a neighbourhood is palpable.

    As soon as an area becomes saturated with rentals it’s 80% on its way to becoming a slum.

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  12. itstricky (2,027 comments) says:

    Of course Labour and Greens oppose it.

    Oppose it? Or just, along with ACT, criticise it for the wrong focus?

    Just to set the record straight?

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  13. wat dabney (3,850 comments) says:

    ‘Scargill used Thatcherite policy in bid to buy London flat’

    ‘Former miners’ union leader Arthur Scargill tried to use laws introduced by Margaret Thatcher to buy a council flat in London, the BBC has found…One former Yorkshire miner said: “It’s so hypocritical it’s unreal.”‘

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25731328

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  14. big bruv (14,224 comments) says:

    Arthur Scargill is a life long loser. The man was humiliated by the late, great Maggie. It is no surprise to see that he has remained a parasite.

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  15. RRM (10,104 comments) says:

    Dime:
    so its for a single person too? families in the headline just to make it sound extra warm and fuzzy?

    its good to see low income slackers finally getting some govt charity.. ffs

    Big Bruv:
    I am also less than happy if these houses are being sold off at less than market prices.

    Having said that, if that means that the low life stay where they are instead of moving to my suburb then I think I can live with this move by the government.

    You lads may have missed the small print at the start of the article, where it is pointed out that these are unused state houses sitting empty because there are no beneficiaries or poor people in the area who want to live in them..? Yeah…?

    These houses are already there, and we taxpayers already own them, as a result of decisions made a long time ago by some other government.

    I ask you… what do YOU suggest Housing NZ should do with these empty un-tenanted houses that they own?

    A:
    Should they continue sitting on these empty houses, paying the local council rates every year and continuing to mow the lawns every fortnight, etc, until some golden future time when the economy of Balclutha starts really going off again and people want to live in the state houses again?

    B:
    Should they buy land somewhere else and pay through the neck to get these old, POS houses re-located onto new sections, requiring new piles, re-gibbing and re-decorating every room just to get them back into the condition they were in before they were moved?

    C:
    Re-locate poor people from Dunedin to Balclutha to live in the state houses, to make sure they never find a job and stay on the bene for the rest of their lives??

    D:
    Sell these unwanted houses in bumfuck nowhere for anything they can get, and put that money into something more productive?

    E:
    have a great big bonfire?

    F:
    Other…??

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  16. dime (10,223 comments) says:

    RRM – how bout try selling them the normal way?

    J Bloggs – im sure you would have taken the free 20k.

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  17. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    No body should ever have to live in a state rental house. The whole concept was a dirty little trick by the scumbag Labour party to make the poor beholding to them.

    Savage and Fraser are the shit that fucked New Zealand.

    The state should be assisting poor folk into owning their own little bit of NZ not renting it, just as National are doing.

    At least once they own it they may start to look after the place instead of wrecking it.

    They may even start to mow their own lawns, unless they are whinging Jafa’s of course! :)

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  18. J Bloggs (252 comments) says:

    Dime: I’d have taken the deposit offer, sure. I’d be a fool not to. However, it’s unlikely in the places I mentioned it would be the full 20K – you’re only eligible for a starter of 10% of the property value, up to a max. of 20K – so in the places I was talking about, with the houses that are on the market ATM, you are looking between 6k-12k, which covers the deposit for the morgage.

    As for selling them normally, the FirstHome scheme gets 3 months to find a registered buyer, then they go on the market as per normal.

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  19. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    “When I first graduated and went to work in a small regional hospital, my starting wage wasn’t much more than 40K”

    Hell Bloggs, I never realised you had to (a) graduate to get to empty rubbish bins and (b) rubbish tin technicians got paid so badly! :)

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  20. J Bloggs (252 comments) says:

    Johnboy: It wouldn’t surprise me if the bin emptiers WERE paid more than the Allied Health team members – and held in higher esteem by the Docs… :)

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  21. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    “Allied Health team members”? …..Explain to us non new-speak savvy dinosaurs what they are! :)

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  22. J Bloggs (252 comments) says:

    All those who are part of the hospital medical staff, who aren’t doctors or nurses – Physios, occupational therapists, social workers, dieticians, speech therapists, psychologists, radiographers, etc, etc…

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  23. Johnboy (17,051 comments) says:

    Now I can see why the quacks found the bin-emptiers more useful! :)

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  24. coge (190 comments) says:

    The prices seem quite good. But in reality it’s Levin, these places are very ordinary & need doing up. The three R’s etc. By the time all that’s done they will be close to or over market rate. Think you must live there for three years too. In Levin.

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