First-home buyers shouldn't rely on KiwiBuild - expert

A housing expert says would-be first-home buyers shouldn't put all their eggs in the KiwiBuild basket.

Figures released on Thursday show more than 35,000 people have put their names in the ballot for one of the so-called affordable homes in less than two weeks.

"It highlights... the real demand for people wanting to get a house, particularly in Auckland," housing strategist Leonie Freeman told The AM Show on Friday.

"The question now is, how does this get delivered? Because huge expectations have been created. The challenge with any sort of housing development is it's long-term, and now we've got 35,500-odd individuals or couples sitting there wanting a house."

Of those, more than 22,000 of them live in Auckland, which has for years built fewer houses than it needs when compared to population growth.

With the Government saying only 1000 KiwiBuild homes will be built (or purchased) in the first year and doubts the target of 100,000 in 10 years will be met, Ms Freeman says some people will miss out.

"There are developers doing housing in Auckland under $650,000, so you know, I would encourage people to keep looking and not just rely on this. Even when the houses are ready, there is a ballot system - so it's a bit of a lottery as to whether you're going to get a house."

KiwiBuild homes in Auckland will cost about $650,000, a price point so high that people earning up to $120,000 alone or $180,000 as a couple will still be eligible to enter the ballot. Ms Freeman says that means low-income people will remain locked out.

"For a lot of people that's not affordable. So then what we've also got to do is be more creative about how we assist people into housing."

Other ways she suggests include shared ownership models and non-profit housing providers, which she went into detail about in a previous appearance on The AM Show earlier this month.

Despite her scepticism, Ms Freeman wants to see KiwiBuild succeed.

"I always come from the position I'd love to see it happen, but I haven't seen things yet that give me that confidence. But I'm still hopeful."