HomeStart changes are good news for first home buyers

14 September 2016

If you’re a KiwiSaver member looking for your first home, you’ll want to know about changes to the government’s HomeStart grant scheme. Changes to the eligibility criteria mean you and your partner may now qualify for up to $20,000 towards your first home (or up to $10,000 as an individual). This financial helping hand is definitely worth chasing.

Get on the property ladder

To help first home buyers get into the property market, Housing New Zealand has changed eligibility rules and house price caps for its KiwiSaver HomeStart grant scheme.1

To see all eligibility requirements for HomeStart, which include being a KiwiSaver member for at least three years, visit the HomeStart page on the Housing New Zealand website.2

Here are the eligibility changes:

  • Effective from 1 August, income limits have been raised from $80,000 to $85,000 for an individual and from $120,000 to $130,000 for more than two purchasers.

Price caps for existing and new houses have also increased to as much as $650,000:

  • The Auckland price cap has risen from $550,000 to $600,000 for an existing house and from $600,000 to $650,000 for a new house.
  • The price caps for Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton, Tauranga, Queenstown and Nelson-Tasman have increased from $450,000 to $500,000 for an existing house and from $500,000 to $550,000 for a new house.
  • In the rest of the country, the price caps have increased from $350,000 to $400,000 for an existing house and from $400,000 to $450,000 for a new house.

The maximum HomeStart grant amounts that an eligible KiwiSaver member can receive haven’t changed, they remain at:

  • Up to $5,000 to purchase an existing house, with a maximum of $10,000 for two or more people 
  • Up to $10,000 per member for a new house purchase, with a maximum of $20,000 for two or more people)

Another way KiwiSaver helps first home buyers

First home buyers can also withdraw some of their KiwiSaver savings to buy a property. This withdrawal can include your contributions, your employer’s contributions, any returns received and member tax credits. Find out more about using KiwiSaver savings to buy your first home

Important information

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The content provided is intended to be used as information only and does not constitute financial advice. Before acting on any of the results provided, we recommend that you seek advice which takes your individual circumstances into account.