Nau mai, haere mai. On 1 October, Housing New Zealand joined HLC and KiwiBuild to form Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

Information on this site is still current. For more information about Kāinga Ora visit the Kāinga Ora website.

Check property criteria

Published: 1 October 2019

The First Home Grant can be used to help purchase new builds or existing properties up to the value of the price caps in your region.

New build properties include:

  • newly built dwellings that received a building code compliance certificate less than 12 months before the date you apply for the First Home Grant
  • vacant sections that will be built on
  • house and land packages or apartments purchased off the plans.

Existing properties are any houses that were built and certified more than 12 months ago.

House price caps

Region

Existing/older properties

New properties

Auckland, Queenstown Lakes District $600,000 $650,000
Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kāpiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District $500,000 $550,000
Rest of New Zealand $400,000 $500,000

Regions are defined by city and district council boundaries.

If you're buying an existing property

All properties that received a building code compliance certificate more than 12 months before you apply for a First Home Grant are considered existing properties.

The property must:

  • be within the maximum house price caps for older/existing properties
  • be habitable from settlement date
  • be used as your primary place of residence for at least 6 months from the settlement date.

If you're buying land to build on

The First Home Grant must be used towards the purchase of the land, not the cost of constructing the house.

You must:

  • submit your application at least 4 weeks before the settlement of the land
  • have plans to build or relocate a home immediately after buying the land
  • have a signed sale and purchase agreement for the land
  • provide a signed, fixed-price building contract that shows the cost of construction and estimated start and finish dates
  • provide copies of all relevant associated documents such as house plans and property specifications
  • have enough money to complete the construction of the property within the relevant house price cap.

If you don't have a fixed-price building contract because you are doing a self-build or partial build, you will need to provide a quantity surveyor's report showing the total build cost.

The house must:

  • be a permanent residential dwelling. Transportable properties like motor homes, caravans or similar are not eligible for the grant
  • be your primary place of residence for at least 6 months from the date the code compliance certificate is issued.

The total combined costs for the land purchase and the house construction must be within the relevant house price caps.

The land must be ready to build on. If it's not, the cost to get the land ready for building must be taken into consideration.

If you're relocating an existing house onto a new section

If you are relocating an existing house onto a new section, you will only be eligible for the grant for existing homes.

You will need to provide:

  • a signed copy of the sale and purchase agreement for the land
  • evidence of the cost to purchase and transport the property
  • a copy of a fixed price building contract that clearly shows the total cost and projected timeframes to have the property completed to a consented and habitable condition
  • a code of compliance certificate after the house has been relocated – if you are building on Māori land, your grant will not be paid until we have seen the certificate.

If you're buying a property off the plans

You must:

  • live in the house or apartment for at least 6 months from when the property has been completed to compliance standards and settlement concluded
  • provide copies of the house plans and property specifications
  • provide a copy of the signed contract that shows:
    • the details of the proposed property
    • the purchase price
    • projected dates for the start and end of construction, including a sunset clause.

When you buy off the plans, we may be able to pay your grant before settlement to help you with the initial payment or a progress payment. In these cases, the grant must be held in trust, in escrow or similar arrangement, with payment to the developer only on settlement. You will need to discuss this with your lawyer and the developer.

If you're building on Māori land

You will need to provide a copy of your right to occupy Māori land.

The First Home Grant will not be paid out until we have received a code of compliance certificate after the build is finished.

Next steps

Check you are eligible for the First Home Grant

Apply for a First Home Grant

If you have questions before you apply, you can:

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