Prospective first home buyer says saving for deposit 'near-on impossible', voices concern over National's promised housing changes

A prospective first home buyer says it's nearly impossible to save for a deposit and is calling for the incoming government to work with banks to make things easier.

Sheetal Hannagan-Parmar said despite her and her partner having good jobs, saving for a deposit while living in Auckland and raising three kids simply wasn't possible.

Hannagan-Parmar told AM the cost of living is so high, owning a home is not feasible for many people.

"It's been near-on impossible to be able to save for that deposit. Living in Auckland, the cost of living is extremely high so even with two really good jobs and three children we were just never able to get that deposit saved as much as we tried," she said.

"We did talk to banks, but we just couldn't come up with the capital to be able to start. Even with the amount of KiwiSaver that we had it just seemed near impossible. Banks are being really scrupulous with what they would and wouldn't lend for and checking everything that you've bought, being questioned on everything and it's just become near-on impossible."

The proportion of first-home buyers in the market has grown this year, partly as investors drop out, but even so, Hannagan-Parmar said she hasn't really noticed any improvement.

"It's a little bit easier [this year] but I still think a lot of banks are being really cautious as to who they will lend to, and I mean the cost of a mortgage these days is pretty high."

She said while rent and mortgages might be comparable there are all the other costs such as rates and insurance that add up.

She also voiced concerns about the incoming government's planned rental and tax changes. Before the election, National promised to do away with the 10-year bright-line test and to reintroduce interest deductibility for rentals. The party also said it would reintroduce no-cause evictions. However National is currently in coalition discussions with ACT and NZ First and no policies have been confirmed yet.

Hannagan-Parmer said she's concerned if the changes are introduced.

"There are a lot of people in my position who can't get onto that property ladder and it's about having that security behind you. For me, I would love to be able to say that we can move into a house but when you're currently renting you've' got so many things to worry about and the biggest thing with the incoming government is the new law changes that they're supposedly planning with rentals."

But NZ Property Investors Federation president Sue Harrison, who was appearing on AM alongside Hannagan-Parmer said those changes will actually benefit tenants.

"It will change the game for tenants as much as it will for investors because it will bring relief. The costs of owning a property are extremely high and first, you have to get past the banks, so investors are really under the pump as far as trying to supply properties and trying to keep the price down."

Harrison said most of their members own one or two properties and know how it feels to struggle to get onto the property ladder.

She claimed the change in law would bring relief to rents and make things fairer for tenants.

Watch the interview above.