Rates discount extended to first apartments as well as first houses

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News from WCC
Mayor Justin Lester has announced that a $5000 rates discount for first-home builders will take effect from July 1 and is being extended to cover new apartments.

“Affordable housing is one of the things we all love about Wellington. It’s what attracts people to come and build their lives here.” he says.

“In the face of a shortage of supply, we need to be doing more to incentivise construction of new homes for Wellington, especially for young families or people looking to get into their first home.

“That’s why I’m announcing we will be giving a $5000 rates discount to anyone building their first home in Wellington, buying a newly built home off the plans, or purchasing an apartment off the plans.”

He says getting a $5000 reduction on rates will be a real incentive to add to Wellington’s housing stock, especially in the central city.

“This is going to make Wellington stand out and will help us attract talent to live and work here. We’ll say to people if you want to build your life in Wellington, this is a place where you can own your own home and here’s some help to make it happen.

“It’s about being proactive, promoting Wellington and helping to tackle our housing issues while we are at it.”

The discount will be available to anyone who has not owned their own home before, and will allow them to claim the first $5000 off their rates from when they own a new home

The Council’s housing portfolio lead and Deputy Mayor Paul Eagle says such action is needed in light of forecasts of growing supply

“Historically Wellington has been building seven hundred to eight hundred new homes a year. We’re hoping to get that number up to over one thousand each year. That’s why we announced recently that we will be proactively building new affordable houses and why we are making today’s announcement.” he says.

The discount will be introduced as part of the Mayor’s annual plan at the end of the month.

Wellington City New First Home Rates Discount Q and A

Why is this needed?

Wellington has a shortage of housing supply, which is putting pressure on people trying to buy or rent a home. We need to do more to incentivise the construction of new homes, and a discount on your rates is a way to do that. At the same time, Wellington also needs to be attracting talent from around the world and the rest of the country to come and live here. A rates discount and the chance to own your own home is a real draw card for our city, especially with Auckland in the midst of a housing crisis.

This is about making Wellington the destination of choice for graduates, entrepreneurs and skilled workers who want to come here.

How much will it cost? How will you pay for it?

This will cost $2500 per year per claimant in foregone rates income. These new dwellings are adding to the ratepaying base. The rates income derived over the life of the homes will far exceed the two year rates discount.

How many homeowners do you think will claim this discount?

We estimate this will be claimed by between 80 and 100 homeowners a year. That would represent more than a 10 percent increase in the number of new buildings being consented a year in our city compared to our historic averages of seven hundred to eight hundred.

Projections are that we need that number to be closer to one thousand a year if we want to be keeping up with demand and the needs of a growing population. This policy will help close that gap and sits alongside our previous announcement of 750 new social and affordable homes over the next decade, and the our work with central government on making the process of developing new homes easier through special housing areas.

How does it work?

The rates discount would allow someone to claim up to $5000 back off their rates over the first two years that they own a home. The discount applies for a set period from the start of the following rating year and ending when the total amount of Wellington City Council rates remitted on the property reaches the $5,000 (including GST) limit or when the rating unit is sold (whichever is first)

Who is eligible?

It will only be applicable to any new builds, homes bought off a plan, or apartments built off a plan. This discount is targeted at first time homeowners. It will be available to anyone who is able to sign a legal declaration that they have not owned their own home before.

Other criteria:

· the new residential dwelling or apartments must be within the Wellington City Council boundary.

· application can be made by the ratepayer after a code of compliance certificate has been issued.

the discount will not be available retrospectively for residential dwellings / apartments that are already completed before 1 July 2017.

Continue reading this article at the original source from Scoop Wellington





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