The easing of Reserve Bank's home lending restrictions will make it easier for first-home buyers to secure a house, the Government has said.

But National's Housing spokeswoman Judith Collins said the changes to the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions is an acknowledgement that it's "pretty hard to get into a house".

This morning, the central bank eased LVR restrictions on both owner-occupiers and investors.

From January, banks would be allowed to lend 20 per cent (up from the current level of 15 per cent) of their new loans to owner-occupiers with a deposit of less than 20 per cent.


The Reserve Bank introduced high LVR restrictions in October 2013 to cool the property market.

Speaking to media, Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said the bank was "some way away" from further changing the lending limits.

Any changes to the lending limits depended on the behaviour of the banks' level of responsibility going forward, Orr said.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said changes to LVRs showed the Reserve Bank had acknowledged the housing market had stabilised.

He said the move to ease LVRs makes things "a little bit easier for first home buyers to get into the market".

Asked if the change would mean it would be easier for people to get into KiwiBuild homes, he said perhaps.

But he said as KiwiBuild homes were new builds they would be exempt from LVRs anyway.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the easing of the rules would open up opportunities for some homeowners – "particularly first-home buyers, and that's a good thing".


But Collins was not as optimistic as Twyford and Robertson.

She called the Reserve Bank's decision "interesting".

"It's an acknowledgement that it's pretty hard to get into a house, in particular to be able to afford a house, unless you have a very substantial deposit or you have the bank of mum and dad to help you."

She said easing of the LVRs was an acknowledgement that the sector is quite delicate – particular in areas of trying to get people into homes.

Asked if she would have liked to see the Reserve Bank go further, Collins said that's a decision for the Reserve Bank.

"One of the things National Party always does is try and leave the experts to do their job."