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Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt

The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.

New data from the Reserve Bank shows that the average first home buyer is borrowing a record $390,000, up by 43 per cent from $273,000, in just two years. LVR rules requiring a 20 per cent minimum deposit mean the average first home now costs around half a million dollars.

“This is a crushing burden of debt for young families. A couple with a child now needs an income of around $100,000 and a $100,000 deposit just to buy the average first home.

“If interest rates start to rise, as the Government predicts, it will put some of them in real difficulties.

“Labour has been pushing for the Government to stabilise house prices by building affordable homes and banning foreign speculators. Had that happened, the cost of buying a home would be in reach of many more families.

“John Key has dragged his heels for too long. It’s time he admitted he’s got it wrong and Labour’s comprehensive housing plan is right.

“Labour is committed to building affordable homes for first homebuyers, with all the homes priced below half a million dollars, except stand-alone houses in Auckland. Labour will also ban non-resident non-citizens from buying existing houses as part of our comprehensive housing package,” says Andrew Little.