Buying your first home
You may be able to get government help to buy your first home if you're a KiwiSaver member, want to buy a house that Housing New Zealand owns, or are Māori and want to live on your ancestral land.
Preparing to buy your first home
Buying a home is a major financial commitment that includes paying for:
- your mortgage
- legal fees
- building checks and reports.
Government help to buy your first home
KiwiSaver HomeStart grant
If you're a first-time buyer and you've been making regular KiwiSaver contributions for at least 3 years, you may be able to apply for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant through Housing New Zealand.
How it works
If you buy an existing home, you can get $1000 for each year you’ve paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $5000 for 5 years.
If you buy a new home or land, you can get $2,000 for each year you've paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $10,000 for 5 years.
If you buy a property with other people who qualify for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, you can all apply but the most you can get for one property is:
- $10,000 for an existing property
- $20,000 if you buy a new home or land for a new home.
Who can apply
To apply, you must:
- be 18 or older
- have been contributing at least the minimum amount of your income (currently 3%) to your KiwiSaver scheme for 3 years
- have had an income in the previous 12 months (before tax) of less than:
- $85,000 for 1 person
- $130,000 for 2 or more people
- have a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price
- agree to live in your property for at least 6 months:
- from the date you buy your home (the settlement date), or
- if the house is new, when the code compliance certificate is issued.
KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal
You can apply to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings to put towards buying your first home if you‘ve belonged to your KiwiSaver scheme for at least 3 years. You can withdraw your savings, but you must leave at least $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account.
Welcome Home Loan
With a Welcome Home Loan, you might be able to get a home loan if you only have a 10% deposit. How much you can borrow depends on where you live in New Zealand and what you can afford.
You get a Welcome Home Loan from a bank or other lender — not all banks and lenders offer this option. Housing New Zealand underwrites the loan. Before you can get a loan you need to meet criteria set by the government and your lender.
For the government to approve your loan, you must:
- have a 10% deposit
- buy a house that costs no more than the maximum price for your region — the regional cap
- have income before tax in the last 12 months of no more than:
- $85,000 per year if you're single
- $130,000 per year if 2 or more of you are buying a house together.
Contact your lender to find out their conditions for a Welcome Home Loan. They could consider:
- whether or not they think you can repay the loan
- your credit history
- any debts you have
- your banking history.
If you're Māori
You can get money to build, buy or relocate a home on your ancestral land.
Help to buy a house owned by Housing New Zealand
In some areas of New Zealand, you can buy a property that Housing New Zealand no longer needs. First-home buyers can apply for a FirstHome grant of up to $20,000 towards the deposit needed to buy one of these properties.
If you’re an existing tenant in a state house you can buy your home if it’s available for purchase.