The Government's KiwiBuild scheme has been much in the news. A key element involves the purchase of a house and agreements with developers and builders to build houses. Lawyers are likely to be involved somewhere along the line and KiwiBuild has provided the New Zealand Law Society with some information about who is eligible for KiwiBuild.
The information, by Stakeholder Engagement Manager Felicity Merrington, is as follows:
KiwiBuild is an ambitious affordable housing programme and is one of the Government’s key tools to tackle the housing crisis, and put homeownership back within reach of first home buyers.
The KiwiBuild Unit works with private developers, government agencies, councils and iwi to shift the boundaries of what the sector can deliver in terms of volume, quality and price. There are a number of programme streams helping to deliver the Government’s goal of 100,000 homes over 10 years, but chiefly KiwiBuild supports developers by underwriting or purchasing new homes off-the-plans to reduce risk and speed up delivery.
To date, the KiwiBuild programme has either contracted or committed over 10,000 new homes to build, and increasingly the legal profession will be required to provide conveyancing advice to eligible first time KiwiBuild buyers.
KiwiBuild is exclusively for first home buyers and ‘second chancers’. A second chancer is defined as someone who has previously owned a home (anywhere in the world) but no longer does, and is in a similar financial position to a first home buyer.
To be eligible for a KiwiBuild home, all applicants must:
- be a first home buyer, or in a similar financial position to a first home buyer (this is a second-chancer)
- be a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident, or a resident visa holder who is ‘ordinarily resident in New Zealand’
- have income of no more than $120,000 for a single purchaser, or no more than $180,000 for more than one purchaser
- intend to own the home for at least 3 years and live in it as a principal place of residence
- sign a Statutory Declaration confirming the authenticity of your documentation
The eligibility test for a second chancer is determined by measuring their realisable assets. The asset cap is consistent with the cap applied to the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. One of the ways the legal profession may engage with potential ‘second chancers’ is when dividing assets or providing divorce or separation advice. You can find more information about eligibility at kiwibuild.govt.nz under our ‘Who Is Eligible’ section. https://www.hud.govt.nz/residential-housing/kiwibuild/how-to-buy-a-kiwibuild-home/who-is-eligible/
KiwiBuild homes are newly-built, modern, good quality houses. They range in size from studio apartments through to four bedroom homes and they must be built within the KiwiBuild price cap. There is no price negotiation. KiwiBuild homes are sold for a fixed price.
Homes in Auckland and Queenstown-Lakes can’t exceed $650,000, and the maximum price a KiwiBuild home can be sold for in other regions is $500,000. Many will be priced below these caps. KiwiBuild homes are all built by experienced, quality builders and come with builders’ guarantees and warranties.