Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Budget 2016: Disappointed couple no closer to buying first home

Home hunters Gemma Mann and Mike Alsweiler, with their son Harper, have not ruled out leaving Auckland to find a house they can afford. Picture / Michael Craig
Home hunters Gemma Mann and Mike Alsweiler, with their son Harper, have not ruled out leaving Auckland to find a house they can afford. Picture / Michael Craig

New parents Mike Alsweiler and Gemma Mann - who the Herald followed as part of its Home Truths series last month - saw nothing in the Budget to get them closer to buying their first home.

Mr Alsweiler said the Government had hinted there would be nothing new for first-home buyers and the politicians lived up to their word.

Allocating some more money to release some more land may work down the track, Mr Alsweiler said, but it seemed like the Government was continually playing catch-up.

"It's definitely a worrying trend what is happening at the moment ... It's just sad to see it's so hard for a Kiwi family to get a home," he said.

Mr Alsweiler and his partner Gemma have spent the past year searching for a home.

They are currently looking at a house at Hobsonville Pt, but have not ruled out leaving Auckland to find a house they can afford, even if it means saying goodbye to their families.

The couple, who are born and bred West Aucklanders, rent in Te Atatu with their 7-month-old baby Harper.

They have a joint income of $110,000-$120,000 a year and hope to borrow at least $500,000 to buy a house in the range of $600,000.

Property Institute of New Zealand chief executive Ashley Church had a mixed response to the Government's Budget measures on housing.

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"Any Government which touted itself as being able to solve the Auckland housing crisis on its own would need to embark upon a massive state-funded home building programme - and that simply isn't going to happen while Bill English holds the purse strings."

Mr Church said the Government had missed an opportunity.

"While it's good to see that there has been no repeat of last year's ill-considered attempts to artificially slow the housing market, and no mention of knee-jerk responses such as land taxes - it's disappointing that there are no positive initiatives to further encourage the private construction of new homes."

- NZ Herald

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