Wellington Property Investors' Association

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10-12-2007

3000 first home buyers take up Welcome Home Loans

The government's major initiative to help first-time buyers, Welcome Home Loans, into their own home has reached 3000 loans.

By Maria Scott

Housing Minister Chris Carter says it "is a very difficult market for first-time home buyers."

Welcome Home Loans is a mortgage insurance scheme in which Housing New Zealand essentially underwrites private lenders, such as banks and building societies, to give home loans to people who would otherwise have difficulty getting a mortgage under traditional lending criteria.

It is designed to help families who can technically service a loan but are struggling to get into home ownership because they lack a large enough deposit or whose circumstances are complicated.

The scheme enables households to borrow up to $200,000 with no deposit, and up to $280,000 with a smaller deposit than would normally be required.

Carter says uptake of the scheme has continued to rise this year with up to 80 families a month getting approval.

"The Welcome Home Loan scheme is having a big impact in helping first-time buyers in provincial areas in particular," he says.

There has been a significant uptake of the scheme in the Manawatu, Taranaki, Wairarapa, Waikato, King Country and the South Island.

Welcome Home Loans are offered through CBS, Kiwibank, Nelson Building Society, SBS, TSB Bank and some credit unions.

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