To help you buy your first home you may be able to get a one-off contribution from Housing New Zealand of up to $20,000.
There are a few rules around how long you have been contributing to KiwiSaver, plus income and regional house price caps. You may also need to have a minimum deposit.
Even if you have previously owned a home, you may still be able to get this one-off contribution.
How much could I be eligible for?
The KiwiSaver HomeStart grant offers eligible home buyers up to $10,000 to buy an existing house, that’s older than six months, and up to $20,000 for the purchase or build of a new home.
Purchasing an existing/older house
If you are purchasing an existing/older house you can get $1,000 per year for every year you have been in KiwiSaver, up to $5,000.
Purchasing or building a new house
If you are purchasing or building a new house you can get $2,000 per year for every year you have been in KiwiSaver, up to $10,000.
What's the process?
Found your dream home already
If you have already found a house, and have a signed sale and purchase agreement, you can complete the Housing New Zealand application form. Your application must be with Housing New Zealand at least 20 working days before settlement or they may not pay out the grant.
The HomeStart grant is paid directly to your solicitor prior to settlement day.
Still looking for your dream home
Even if you haven’t found a house you’d like to buy, you can still apply for a HomeStart grant pre-approval via the Housing New Zealand website.
Once you have found a house you can complete the process. Your pre-approval will be valid for 180 days, and after that time you will need to re-apply.
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Am I eligible for a HomeStart grant?
To see if you’re eligible for a HomeStart grant you can use the checklist below or visit the Housing New Zealand website.
- You are 18 years or older
- You have not received a HomeStart grant before
- You are a member of a KiwiSaver scheme, complying scheme or exempt employer scheme
- You have contributed at least the minimum percentage of my income to a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme for at least three years. (From 1 April 2013, the minimum contribution was increased to 3% of your income, 3% of the minimum wage for non-earners or 3% of your yearly benefit for beneficiaries. From 1 July 2007 to 31 March 2009 the minimum contribution was 4%, and from 1 April 2009- 31 March 2013 it was reduced to 2%).
- You have an income of $85,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months; or we have a combined income of $130,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months for two or more buyers. *
- You have a minimum of a 10% deposit of the purchase price. This deposit could include the money I can withdraw through the KiwiSaver savings withdrawal feature, the HomeStart grant amount I may be eligible for and any other suitable funds, such as savings, fixed and term deposits or funds already paid to a real estate agent. The deposit could also be gifted by a relative.
- You are buying one of the following types of property and land arrangements:
(for more information on these property types — see Housing New Zealand)
- Fee Simple
- Stratum estate freehold and leasehold
- Cross-lease (freehold and leasehold)
- You must not own any other property
- You must buy a house within the maximum house price caps.
The house price caps are $600,000 for Auckland; $500,000 for Wellington, Queenstown Lakes District, Christchurch and Selwyn District, Hamilton, Tauranga, Western Bay of Plenty, Kapiti Coast, Upper Hutt, Hutt City, Porirua, Tasman, Nelson and Waimakariri; and $400,000 for all other areas. *
- You must live in the house, or apartment (if you don’t, you have to pay the deposit back)
- You cannot use the HomeStart grant to buy an investment property
- If you are buying land, a house must be built within 12 months of purchase. You will need to supply a code compliance certificate to show that this has been done
- You must live in the house for at least six months from the date the code compliance certificate is issued
- If you are building on land or buying an apartment that is being built, you must show:
- You will have funding for the construction of the building
- The total cost of both the land and the house or apartment is within the house price caps (see above)
- The land or site is ready to build on.
* Effective August 1st 2016, the Government increased the income thresholds and regional house price caps for the HomeStart grant.
Simply complete the first or second chance home withdrawal form and give it to your solicitor who will submit the application to us on your behalf, with the following supporting documents:
- Signed solicitor’s certificate
- A copy of the solicitors bank deposit slip
- A copy of the unconditional sale and purchase agreement
Please make sure your application is with us at least 10 working days before settlement.
The funds will be paid directly to your solicitor’s trust account prior to settlement. If for any reason the purchase does not go ahead, your solicitor will repay the funds back to us and we will credit them back into your Summer KiwiSaver scheme account.
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