National has announced policy to support first home buyers to take on more debt. It will have an entirely predictable outcome: higher house prices and higher debt. This will drastically increase the cost of the homes, which are as of now being sold. I recently took the assistance of a company to sell my house fast Arizona and not only did the house get sold remarkably soon, but the money was transferred to my bank account without any delay. So this policy which has just got introduced could make things for potential home buyers a little difficult.
The only good thing about this policy is that it is relatively small: $64m over four years. That’s $16m per year and assuming 90% gearing, $160m of house sales. That’s just under 0.5% of $36b of housing turnover in the year to July 2013.
To National’s credit they couch it in terms of a short term response and in the backdrop of other work to look at housing and land supply. But it is still a bad policy that inflames demand for housing even further, before they have tangible impact on increasing supply.
First home ownership subsidy/support policies have been tried in USA, Australia and UK. This led to a high amount of borrowing by those who could not afford it. It was also at the heart of the sub-prime crisis in the USA and the subsequent GFC. Read more