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PAM GRAHAM
pam.graham@age.co.nz

Property developers and builders in Wairapapa are keen to be involved in KiwiBuild after seeing details released by Housing Minister Phil Tywford this week.

By Thursday at 11.15am, more than 17,000 people had already registered their interest in entering a ballot to buy one of scheme’s houses.

Steve Pilbrow

The Government is yet to say how many KiwiBuild homes will be in Wairarapa but developers in the region are keen.

“We are looking into it to see if we can get some KiwiBuild homes built,” said Steve Pilbrow of Westwood Developments.

It could happen within either existing or new developments by the company, he said.

Based on the information released so far, Pilbrow believes the KiwiBuild homes would be “up to scratch” and fit into developments here.

Gareth Norris, managing director of Jennian Homes Wairarapa, said his company had “dialogue happening” with Kiwibuild.

“Wairarapa is proving at the moment it has good capacity to cope with a larger volume of construction,” he said.

“It cements what we are currently doing and hopefully allows us to continue doing it for many years.”

Gareth Norris

He said there would be some subdivisions that would be a struggle for KiwiBuild buyers because of the land costs.

“But we are building a lot of houses between $400,000 and $500,000, including land,” Norris said.

To be eligible to go into the ballot to buy a KiwiBuild home, people must be New Zealand citizens buying their first home and earn less than $120,000 a year as a sole purchaser, or $180,000 as a couple.

The most they can spend in Wairarapa is $500,000, and they must intend to own and live in the house for three years.

Norris said the income thresholds and maximum house price maximum were “good for Wairarapa”.

He said KiwiBuild gave people a clean passage to purchase without competition.

KiwiBuild was also good because it allowed people to focus on the stock numbers of houses, which was the solution to the housing shortage.

Developer Roger Southey said the announced KiwiBuild cap would meet requirements for parts of the Cashmere Oaks subdivision his company was developing in Masterton.

For KiwiBuild, the Government buys houses from developers at an agreed advance underwrite price, as if it were a private purchaser, and then on-sells them to eligible KiwiBuild purchasers.

This gives developers certainty and makes it easier for them to obtain finance.

KiwiBuild is seeking to build 100,000 affordable homes during the next 10 years.