Fifty-one people applied for the $5000 remission and 49 met the criteria before the deadline of June 30.
A last-minute rush lifted the total from 18 just weeks before applications closed.
“I’m delighted with the response,” the Mayor says. “More than 50 applications in the first year is a good start and I am sure there will be more as the scheme continues.”
The rates remission, which was one of the Mayor’s key pledges, is available to anyone who has not owned their own home before.
It allows them to claim the first $5000 off their rates from when they own the new dwelling. It applies to apartments as well as houses. Conditions apply.
It is one of 30 measures Wellington City Council is using to tackle a predicted housing shortage as the capital’s population grows. It is estimated the city will need 30,000 more houses by 2043.
The Council approved 742 Resource Consents in the year to 30 June, which falls within the normal 700-800 range.
It is too soon to say if the rebate has increased the number of first builds.
“The rates remission is an incentive for new home builders and could make the difference in someone’s choice over buying an existing home,” the Mayor says.
“I am sure we will see this scheme grow and it will draw more people towards building their first home.”
The remission will not affect Council’s annual budget as it is not an expense. The budgeted rates amount does not change as the expected impact is transferred to existing ratepayers.
“We need to be doing more to encourage building new homes for Wellington, especially for young families or people looking to get into their first home,” the Mayor says.