We hear the term affordable housing thrown around a lot at present, particularly in the political arena. We may understand what it means to us, but it is impossible to define. A bit like a ‘swimmable’ river… a nice idea that seems just a bit unrealistic.
So let’s break it down a bit. In the Christchurch context there are some developments in the pipeline that have an “affordable” component in their planning. A good example is the “Winners Mile” subdivision being planned for the fringes of Riccarton racecourse. MBIE have a link to this on their website with this information.
As dictated by the Enabling Act, NTP (The developer) will deliver to the market a minimum of 180 houses in the “affordable” range, determined as being at or below the eligibility threshold for a qualifying dwelling under the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant applying at that time. The threshold currently sits at $550,000 in Christchurch.
So MBIE have a view that $550,000 is affordable. But there is no definition around what specification might be delivered at this price point, the “value” is undefined. And no meaningful timeframe is available either.
A more immediate example is Awatea Green. Here there are properties for sale and occupation in the short term, with prices for a 2 bedroom dwelling being advertised at $386,000.
This gives us a snapshot of the new market where the government is using its influence to persuade developers to cater to first home buyers. To be honest, it is all rather meaningless to the average Cantab home buyer. To figure out what is “affordable” for you, you need to bring it back to your own situation. As always, it is a question of how much deposit you can raise, and how much you can repay per week. And of course there is the much bigger market for existing homes which is constantly active, and responsive to the ebb and flow of supply and demand. Again there is a big range of prices with opportunities for the diligent, and pitfalls for the careless.
It will quite probably seem daunting, but believe me, buying your first home has never been easy. Just ask your parents or grandparents, they had to make an effort to get into first home too!
What you need is the desire to do it, and a plan – (that’s where I come in!). If you need to chat about this or any other matter …contact me.