Am I eligible?

Published: 1 August 2016

Confirm you are eligible for FirstHome.


To be eligible to buy a FirstHome, you, and any person/s you are buying the home with, must:

  • Be aged 18 years or older
  • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a first time home buyer and not currently own property or land (previous home owners may be eligible in some circumstances - see below).
  • Be planning to live in the house for at least three years and not purchase it for investment purposes
  • Not have received a FirstHome grant before
  • Have earned an income of $85,000 or less (before tax) for one buyer in the last 12 months, or earned a combined income of $130,000 or less (before tax) for two or more buyers (in the last 12 months).
  • Be pre-approved by a certified lender and hold a valid finance pre-approval letter or certificate that shows the maximum amount that can be borrowed.


Previous home owners may be eligible if their income, assets and liabilities represent a financial position that would be expected of a person who has never owned a property. Previous home owners can still apply for a FirstHome if their realisable assets are equal to, or less than, $80,000. Realisable assets are belongings that you can sell to help you buy a house. Housing New Zealand considers the following to be realisable assets.

  • Money in bank accounts (including fixed and term deposits)
  • Shares, stocks and bonds
  • Investments in banks or financial institutions
  • Building society shares
  • Boat or caravan (if the value is over $5,000)
  • Other vehicles (such as classic motorbikes or cars – not being used as your usual method of transport)
  • Other individual assets valued over $5,000
  • Deposit funds paid to real estate agent.


Housing ownership for tenants - From 1 December 2015 Housing New Zealand tenants who wish to buy the house they are living in, which has been confirmed as being one for sale, can apply for a FirstHome grant. The FirstHome grant is not available in areas where there is high demand for state houses. These areas include Auckland, Wellington City, Christchurch, Hamilton and Tauranga.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now