Buying Your First Home - KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant Guide
1- What is the First Home Owner Grant?
Aside from the Kiwi Saver withdrawal, to further assist you with first home purchase, this grant is approved by Housing New Zealand to eligible first home buyers, subject to certain conditions.
2- When can I apply?
You can apply to Housing New Zealand once you have found a property or you can also apply for a pre-approval before you start looking for a property to buy – this gives you certainty around eligibility and how much you may qualify for.
3- How much can I get
(i) If you buy an existing home
- If you buy an existing home, you can get $1,000 for each of the 3 (or more) years you’ve paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $5,000 for 5 or more years.
(ii) If you buy a new home or land
- If you buy a new home or land to build on, you can get $2,000 for each of the 3 (or more) years you’ve paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $10,000 for 5 or more years.
4- Who can apply / What is the eligibility criteria
To be eligible for a First Home Grant, you must:
- Be over 18
- Be New Zealand resident
- Have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months
(a) $85,000 or less before tax for a single buyer
(b) $130,000 or less before tax for 2 or more buyers.Not currently own any property
- Have been contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more. If you have been contributing to a superannuation scheme other than KiwiSaver, call on 0508 935 266 to check that your fund is eligible.
5- KiwiSaver contribution requirements
- You must have been regularly contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver for 3 years.
- The minimum contribution is currently 3% of your total income.
- The 3 years don’t have to be consecutive, as long as they add up to 3 years’ worth of contributions. For example, if you have been a KiwiSaver member for 3 years but took a 6 month savings suspension, you would not be eligible for the First Home Grant until you had contributed for another 6 months.
- Contributions must be made from all your sources of income, not just your main source of income.
- If you are a non-earner you need to make voluntary contributions of at least 3% of the adult minimum wage based on a 40 hour week.
- If you are self-employed or on a benefit and make voluntary contributions, you need to have made contributions at least once a year for 3 years of at least 3% of your annual income.
- If you have made a combination of automatic and voluntary contributions, the total amount needs to be at least 3% of your total annual income.
- Purchase a property that is within the regional house price caps, as below:
|Region||Existing Property||New Property|
|Auckland, Queenstown Lakes District||$600,000||$650,000|
|Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kāpiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District||$500,000||$550,000|
|Rest of New Zealand||$400,000||$500,000|
- You must agree to live in your home for at least 6 months from:
(a) the date you buy your home (the settlement date), or (b) the date the code compliance certificate for the house is issued, if it is a new build.
6- Deposit requirements
- You must provide evidence that you have a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price of the house you want to buy or build. This can include money:
- From your KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal
- From your First Home Grant approval/ pre-approval amount, that you have saved in the bank
- You have already paid towards the property
- Gifted by a close family member- If using gifted money, you’ll need to supply a completed declaration.