To be eligible for a HomeStart grant, you must:
- be over 18
- have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months
- not currently own any property
- have been contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more
- purchase a property that is within the regional house price caps
- agree to live in your new house for at least 6 months.
You must also make sure the house or land you want to buy meets the property requirements.
If you have been contributing to a superannuation scheme other than KiwiSaver, contact us on 0508 935 266 to check that your fund is eligible.
In the 12 months before you apply, you must have earned:
- $85,000 or less before tax for a single buyer
- $130,000 or less before tax for 2 or more buyers.
KiwiSaver contribution requirements
You must have been regularly contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver for 3 years.
- The minimum contribution is currently 3% of your total income.
- The 3 years don't have to be consecutive, as long as they add up to 3 years' worth of contributions. For example, if you have been a KiwiSaver member for 3 years but took a 6 month savings suspension, you would not be eligible for the HomeStart grant until you had contributed for another 6 months.
- Contributions must be made from all your sources of income, not just your main source of income.
- If you are a non-earner you need to make voluntary contributions of at least 3% of the adult minimum wage based on a 40 hour week.
- If you are self-employed or on a benefit and make voluntary contributions, you need to have made contributions at least once a year for 3 years of at least 3% of your annual income.
- If you have made a combination of automatic and voluntary contributions, the total amount needs to be at least 3% of your total annual income.
You must provide evidence that you have a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price of the house you want to buy or build.
This can include money:
- from your KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal
- from your KiwiSaver HomeStart grant approval/ pre-approval amount,
- that you have saved in the bank
- you have already paid towards the property
- gifted by a close family member.
If using gifted money, you'll need to supply a completed declaration.
The property purchase price must be within the regional house price caps.
You must agree to live in your home for at least 6 months from:
- the date you buy your home (the settlement date), or
- the date the code compliance certificate for the house is issued, if it is a new build.
You must not currently own any land or property. This includes a property owned by a spouse or de facto partner that you could reasonably be expected to live in or sell.
If you are buying a property with other people, you must be buying an equal share.
If you buy privately (not through a real estate agent), you may need to provide evidence that you have paid a fair market price, for example a registered valuation.
If you've previously owned a property
Previous home owners in New Zealand or overseas may apply for the HomeStart grant. You can only receive the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant or its predecessor, the KiwiSaver deposit subsidy, once.
If you are a previous home owner wanting the HomeStart grant, you need to meet the standard eligibility criteria, and you must:
- not have received the HomeStart grant or KiwiSaver deposit subsidy and/or first-home withdrawal before
- not have realisable assets worth more than 20% of the house price cap for existing properties for the area you are buying in.
For example, if you were buying a house in a $400,000 cap area, your realisable assets cannot be worth more than $80,000.
Realisable assets are belongings that you could sell to help buy a house, including:
- money in bank accounts (including fixed and term deposits)
- shares, stocks and bonds
- investments in banks or financial institutions
- building society shares
- boats or caravans worth over $5,000
- other vehicles (such as classic motorbikes or cars that aren't your usual mode of transport)
- other individual assets valued over $5,000
- deposit funds paid to real estate agent.
KiwiSaver funds are not considered realisable assets.
If you have questions before you apply, you can:
- phone us on 0508 935 266
- email us at email@example.com.