How NZ government can help you buy your first home

Is 2019 the year you buy your first home? If so, it’s important to know how the government can help you make that first step in owning a home. If you’re a KiwiSaver member, are wanting to buy a ‘Housing New Zealand’ home, or are Māori and want to live on your ancestral land, the government may able to help.

Here’s a few ways the government can support you in your search for a first home. 

The KiwiSaver Homestart Grant

If you’ve been apart of KiwiSaver and have been making regular contributions for at least 3 years, you may be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant through Housing New Zealand.

The amount you can get depends on if you’re buying an existing home, or are wanting to buy a new home or land. If buying an existing home, you are eligible to receive $1000 for each year you’ve contributed to the scheme. The limit for how much you can get in this case is $5000 for 5 years.

However, if you’re buying a new home, or purchasing land, you are eligible to get $2000 for each year you’ve contributed to the scheme. The limit for this is $10,000 for 5 years.

The KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal

If you’ve been contributing to your KiwiSaver scheme for at least 3 years, you’ll be able to apply to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings to use towards buying your first home. Although you are able to withdraw from your savings, you cannot withdraw the full amount. You must leave at least $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account.

Welcome Home Loan

If you only have a 10% deposit for your home, the Welcome Home Loan can be offered by a bank or lender. However, not all banks and lenders provide this option. How much you can borrow differs depending on what you can afford and where you live within New Zealand.

Other help strategies

If you’re Māori you may be eligible for a Kāinga Whenua loan to help build, buy or relocate a home on your ancestral land.

In some cases, depending on what part of New Zealand you live in, it is possible to buy a property that Housing New Zealand no longer wants or needs. As a first home buyer, you may be eligible to apply for a FirstHome grant of up to $20,000 to help towards your deposit.

You can learn more about each type of support the government provides on their website.

For more tips, advice, and recommendations for buying your first home, head to The Summit Homes Blog.