Govt keen on plan for first-home buyers
By Simon Collins
4:00 AM Friday Dec 4, 2009

The Government is considering a scheme to revive long-term fixed-interest mortgages for first-home buyers.

The scheme, promoted by the Tindall Foundation-backed New Zealand Housing Foundation and associated trusts, would provide 10-year mortgages for first homes at fixed rates of around 6 per cent.

David Cole, who chairs the Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust and was part of a team commissioned by the foundation last year to develop affordable housing proposals, told a conference in Auckland yesterday that banks could be required as a condition of their licences to put a percentage of their lending into the scheme.

The group also plans to take the idea to major institutional investors, such as the NZ Super Fund, the ACC, the ASB Trust and other regional community trusts.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley was at the conference - organised by the Australasian Housing Institute - and said the group had presented the idea to him and was now working on a more detailed proposal.

"The idea of giving first-home buyers certainty when it comes to interest rates is valuable," he said.

More here.