Call to ditch home deposit rule


First-home buyers in Auckland on good incomes cannot get a house because of a 20% deposit requirement, a real estate agent says.
“We’ve got young couples in Auckland earning a quarter of a million dollars between them, who could easily service a mortgage but because of high rents and living costs, they struggle to save a big deposit,” Century 21 New Zealand national manager Geoff Barnett said.
He wants the 20% deposit requirement for first-home buyers scrapped for lower-valued properties, which he defines as anything up to $750,000 in Auckland.
His comments follow similar calls from Barfoot and Thompson director Peter Thompson. On Friday REINZ also called for a review of loan-to-value restrictions imposed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand two years ago.
“It’s over $200,000 in deposit just to buy the average Auckland home,” Mr Barnett said.
The Reserve Bank introduced lending restrictions to help cool Auckland’s housing market, but the measures need to be reviewed as property prices normalise, according to Mr Barnett.
“Many first-home buyers should be exempt from the blanket high deposit requirements.
“They should still pay a deposit and their savings history and ability to service the mortgage must still be heavily scrutinised, but it’s time they got a fairer go.” NZN

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