What help is available to first-time buyers in other countries?

Britain is not the only country where complaints about the lack of affordable housing are becoming louder. But the Help To Buy Isa introduced by the Conservative Party plus plans to build 200,000 affordable homes are not the only way to help first-time buyers.

First Time Buyers and Countries with Affordable SchemesHere, we look at how other countries are helping their citizens get their first foot on the housing ladder.

Australia – Home Owner Grant

The grant was introduced in 2000 when home buyers were given a tax-free amount of up to AU$25,000 towards their first property. This scheme is funded by each state and although its conditions vary from place to place, there are no restrictions in terms of income. In the Northern Territory, for example, buyers can get the full $25,000 toward their first home. And there are no limits to the property’s value.

New Zealand – Pension access and deposit relief

This government scheme was introduced in 2003 and allows first-time buyers to put up a 10% deposit instead of the 20% usually demanded by mortgage lenders. Not only that, the lower deposit may be gifted to the house purchaser by a relative without incurring tax.

While this scheme has some similarity to the Help to Buy mortgage loan in that it provides a 20% guarantee to potential lenders, but the New Zealand government also offers a mortgage insurance of sorts to all participators as a security. The most amount of money people can borrow with the Welcome Home Loan does vary, but it reaches its peak in Auckland with $550,000 or the equivalent of roughly £275,000. Single buyers may have an annual income of maximum $80,000 to qualify for it, while couples may need to earn up to $120,000 to do so.

Certain lenders are also allowed to build a new home with the Welcome Home Loan, and there are also more perks available via New Zealand’s work-based pension savings initiative KiwiSaver.

Investors who have held a KiwiSaver account for three years or more can obtain the following HomeStart grants…

  • For purchasing an existing home, the grant is between $3,000 and $5,000 based on $1,000 each year of KiwiSaver membership.
  • For building or purchasing a new home, or for purchasing land to build a new home on, the grant is, in effect doubled to, $2,000 per year of membership in the scheme, up to a maximum of $10,000 for five years for each member.

There are maximum values of grants payable for the purchase of a single dwelling, regardless of the number of eligible purchasers. These are

  • $10,000 for the purchase of an existing property
  • $20,000 for the purchase of a new property.

Canada – $25,000 from pension

The Canadian tax office has its own Home Buyers Plan, which allows home purchasers to withdraw up to $25,000 from their retirement savings toward paying off a home or building one. Couples may withdraw up to $50,000, but they must repay the loan within the next 15 years, either as a whole sum or through regular payments. There is also an income tax credit of about $5000 for purchasing a home.

Finland – Exemption of property tax

A transfer tax of 4% is available and payable for residential property in Finland, but first-time buyers between the age of 18 and 40 are exempt from it.

When all is said and done things could take a better turn in Britain, so moving out of the country to seek properties elsewhere may not be necessary. We can still find corners of the country where removal services can be used for relocation to greener pastures than the extremely expensive properties of London. If you need assistance for your future relocation, contact professional house movers in Wimbledon.