New hope for Queenstown first-home buyers


Queenstown first-home buyers have been given a little-publicised leg-up.
The Government recently lifted the price cap for Queenstown Lakes ‘Welcome Home’ loans from $350,000 to $425,000.
The previous cap was unrealistic in today’s marketplace but the new limit is “a pretty viable option”, local Westpac bank manager Adam Campbell says. 

Sub-$425,000 homes normally make up 20 to 25 per cent of local house sales but spiked at 38 per cent in August, according to Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures. 

Campbell says the new cap is good news for local first-home buyers, who otherwise face new Reserve Bank loan restrictions meaning most have to stump up a 20 per cent deposit – or $80,000, I the case of a $400,000 home. 

Welcome Home participating lenders still only require a 10 per cent deposit, he says. 

Of the six banks with Queenstown branches, Westpac, Kiwibank and SBS offer Welcome Home loans but ANZ, ASB and BNZ don’t.

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You’re welcome – and not so welcome

Welcome Home lenders in Queenstown are:
• Kiwibank
• Westpac

Three other major banks aren’t Welcome Home lenders:
• ANZ – “We’ve had some initial conversations but we’re not currently an approved vendor.”
• ASB – “ASB doesn’t currently participate, however we are currently reviewing all options that will help our customers realise their goal of home ownership.”
• BNZ – “We don’t offer it but it’s definitely one option – we’re looking at new ways to support first-home buyers.”