First-home buyers react to Goverment's housing announcement

First-home buyers say while the Government's new plan is a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to help them into New Zealand's superheated housing market.

On Tuesday morning Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Housing Minister Megan Woods unveiled their plan to try to fix New Zealand's housing crisis.

It included specific assistance for first-home buyers, many of whom have been priced out of the market.

Ardern revealed the Government is going to lift the income caps for First Home Loans from $35,000 to $95,000 for an individual buyer and from $130,000 to $150,000 for a couple. 

House price caps will also rise in targeted areas.

In Auckland, the cap for a new build is rising from $650,000 to $700,000, and for an existing property from $600,000 to $625,000. The caps are rising in the Wellington region from $550,000 to $650,000 for new builds and $500,000 to $550,000 for existing properties. 

However, some regions including Queenstown-Lakes, Christchurch, Selwyn, Waimakariri will see no changes to house price caps.

Some first-home buyers reacted with joy to the changes, saying they were badly needed. But others, including Otago woman Alesha, who didn't want her surname name to be used, said that it's still not enough.

Alesha, who is looking to buy her first home with her husband in Dunedin, said she was disappointed the changes wouldn't help them.

"We still do not qualify for the First Home Grant even with the new caps," she told Newshub.

"It would have been nice to see a First Home Grant available to all first-home buyers irrespective of income."

However, she said the changes may indirectly affect them by removing competing investors, and potentially decreasing the interest in the lower-priced properties they will be looking at.

"I think these new measures are about all that can realistically be done for now."

Another woman, who wished to remain anonymous, is a second chance first-home buyer from Manawatu who has been looking to get back on the property ladder.

"I previously owned a house - my marriage broke down - I had to sell my house because of the relationship property laws to pay him out," she told Newshub. 

"I've walked away with nothing and having to start out again. I used my KiwiSaver to buy my previous home and can't use it again which means trying to buy again is going to be near impossible."

She said she was "not particularly" happy with the Government's announcement. 

"It's one thing to increase the caps but actually assisting buyers into the property ladder would have been what I was hoping for...

"It's going to take me 10 years to get back onto the ladder at this rate."

Her message to the Government is to "be nice" to second chance buyers and let them access their Kiwisaver.

"I genuinely believe that this would help a lot of people get back into the market."

Other first-home buyers expressed their disappointment with the house cap increases on social media.

"These caps are still a bit useless," one commenter wrote.

"Unfortunately the caps are still too low in Tauranga," another said.

But others were thankful there was some change at all.

The income cap changes will come into effect from April 1.