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A KiwiSaver HomeStart grant can help you buy your own new home and add to your deposit.

Do you need a little more savings for your first new home loan with a low deposit?

KiwiSaver Logo

If you have been contributing to KiwiSaver for 3 years (at least at the minimum allowable percentage of your total income) you may now be eligible for a HomeStart grant.

If you are purchasing an existing / older home the HomeStart grant may assist as it is $1000-00 per year for each year you have been contributing to the scheme up to a maximum of 5 years or $5,000-00. If you and your partner both qualify for a grant this can be a combined amount of $10,000-00!

But, if you are purchasing a new home, a property bought off the plans or land to build a new home on, the HomeStart grant is $2,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme, up to a maximum of 5 years or $10,000. If you and your partner both qualify for a grant this can be a combined amount of $20,000-00!

The Key Points to qualify for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant:

  • You must have been contributing at least the minimum allowable percentage of your income to a KiwiSaver scheme or a complying superannuation scheme for at least 3 years.
  • You are buying your first home, with the intention of living in it for at least 6 months.


A number of changes to the eligibility criteria for the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant took effect on 1 August 2016.

The key changes are outlined below. You can also download the factsheet [PDF, 41 KB] here.

House price caps

The existing house price caps will be increased by $50,000 to the new levels of $400,000, $500,000 and $600,000. (See table below for details) These house price caps are to be used exclusively for existing/older properties.

Additionally a new house price cap has been added. These caps will be set at $450,000, $550,000 and $650,000 and are for new properties such as off the plan purchases, house and land packages, the purchase of land on which a new property will be built or a newly built property where the code compliance certificate has been issued within the last six months. (See table below for details)

Income caps

The existing income cap limits of $80,000 for one buyer and $120,000 for two or more buyers are to be increased to $85,000 and $130,000 (before tax) respectively. These caps are based on income earned in the previous 12 month period.

Previous home owners

For the assessment of previous home owners, the realisable assets test will be based on the house price cap for existing/older properties, not the new property caps.

House price caps

Eligibility Criteria Prior to 1 Aug 2016 All properties From 1 Aug 2016 Existing/ older properties From 1 Aug 2016 New properties
Auckland $550,000 $600,000 $650,000
Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Queenstown Lakes District $450,000 $500,000 $550,000
Rest of New Zealand $350,000 $400,000 $450,000

In some circumstances you may be eligible even if you’ve owned a home before.

It is important though to be aware that if you are also considering withdrawing funds from your KiwiSaver account this may impact on your long term savings plan. This must be discussed by you with your Investment Adviser as KiwiSaver is an Investment product and the Financial Advisers and staff of First Rate Mortgages Ltd are not able to provide advice on Investments.

So if you are looking to increase your deposit, to help you buy your own new home, and think that you may be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, it costs nothing to ask!

Contact us for more information

info@firstratemortgages.co.nz
or Freephone Allan on 0800 178 728

NOTE: This website is operated by First Rate Mortgages Limited and is not endorsed by, or affiliated with, the New Zealand government or Inland Revenue. First Rate Mortgages Limited is using the KiwiSaver trade mark and logo under licence from Inland Revenue. To view the official New Zealand government KiwiSaver website, please click here.

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