How much do I have to save for my deposit?


How much you'll need, how to get there, and a little help along the way.

Dreaming of a place to call your own?


Surviving on a shoestring in your flatting years is a rite of passage for so many Kiwis, with buying a house being the next natural progression for many. It’s a big step to take though and these days it’s a huge leap for many of us, given how much house prices have risen.

Getting your deposit together is the starting point and in most cases you’ll need 20% of the value of the home. The higher the purchase price, the bigger the deposit!

Why do I need a 20% deposit?


Since 2016, banks have been restricted as to how much money they can lend to buyers with a low deposit. These restrictions — referred to as LVRs (loan-to-value ratios) — mean that, in most cases you will need at least a 20% deposit to buy a house.  A super tough ask in this day and age, but there is hope… 

Getting to 20% with the power of KiwiSaver


KiwiSaver can get you into your first home quicker by allowing you to withdraw most of your savings for the purchase of your first home — find out more about the rules for using KiwiSaver for your first home deposit. If you’re buying a first home with a partner, you can both withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver accounts.

KiwiSaver can also help you supercharge your retirement savings. Did you know for every $1 you put into your KiwiSaver account, the Government puts in 50 cents — up to $521.43 a year.

To be eligible you need to be making contributions to your KiwiSaver account, aged between 18 and the age of eligibility for NZ Super (currently 65) or have been a member for five years, whichever is the later. Find out more about how the Government Contribution works.

If you’re employed, you’ll also benefit from contributions your employer will make into your KiwiSaver account.

When a smaller deposit might be enough


Saving a 20% deposit for your first home can be a struggle. However in some circumstances, the deposit required may be less than 20%.

A special kind of loan called 'First Home Loan', for example, requires a minimum deposit that may be lower than most home loans. If you meet the criteria, getting into your first home may be that much easier.

You apply for a First Home Loan from participating lenders (not all banks and lenders offer this option). Kāinga Ora underwrites the loan. Before you can get a First Home Loan you need to meet criteria set by the government which includes an income cap and a regional house price cap. For details, see the Kāinga Ora website.

You'll also need to meet the specific lending criteria of the participating lender you choose. Your mortgage broker or Adviser can help you apply.

What about the HomeStart grant?


You may also be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant. This gives first-home buyers a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 where there are two or more eligible buyers, to put towards the purchase of an existing or older home.  For a new home, the grant goes up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for two or more buyers. 

 

What other costs do I need to budget for?


While your home loan may be your biggest single expense, there are a number of other costs to be aware of and plan for. These include:

  • Legal fees;
  • Loan application fee;
  • Insurance;
  • Builder’s report;
  • Cost of moving;
  • Ongoing costs such as maintenance and rates

Useful tools

First home and retirement calculator
First home and retirement calculator

Financial fitness check
Financial fitness check

Fund quiz tool
Fund quiz tool

First Home
First Home

Documents and forms

KiwiSaver first home withdrawal form
KiwiSaver first home withdrawal form

Budget worksheet
Budget worksheet

More about KiwiSaver
More about KiwiSaver

Join the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme
Join the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme

Important information

AMP Wealth Management New Zealand Limited is the issuer and manager of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme (the 'Scheme'). The Supervisor of the Scheme is The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited.
For more information, download a copy of the AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Product Disclosure Statement and Fund Update Booklet.
While care has been taken to supply information on this website that is accurate, no entity or person gives any warranty of reliability or accuracy, or accepts any responsibility arising in any way including from any error or omission.
The information provided is of a general nature and does not constitute financial advice or other professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek financial advice or other professional advice relevant to your personal circumstances.
For financial advice, we recommend you contact your Adviser or if you don’t have an Adviser, contact us on 0800 267 5494.