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Will BNZ’s shared-equity scheme have any impact on the housing market?

In his Weekly Overview of 13 December Tony Alexander, Chief Economist for the Bank of New Zealand, commented on BNZ’s shared equity scheme:

“This week BNZ announced the start up next year of a shared equity scheme for home purchases. Details have yet to be fully thrashed out, but it looks like if buyers have a 10% deposit an investor can provide up to another 15% and the bank the remaining 75%. Or numbers like that. The buyer saves the extra interest charge for low equity purchases and becomes able to purchase when they would not otherwise have been able to. That last factor however may not be so substantial given that up to 20% of bank lending to owner occupiers can from January 1 entail deposits less than 20% of the purchase price. In October 8.9% of new lending involved less than a 20% deposit. Nonetheless, the scheme will allow home ownership for more people than would otherwise be the case.

Market impact? Numbers are not likely to be large but whatever they are they will add to demand therefore place additional upward pressure on prices. Housing is a supply/capacity constrained sector and only moves which boost construction will have much downward price impact.”

Rob Stock, Money and Consumer Affairs Reporter for stuff.co.nz believes there are pitfalls to the scheme – read Rob’s article here

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