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KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant

July 23, 2015

From 1 April 2015 the new Government initiative for first home buyers – the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant – came into effect.


Like the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy which it replaces, the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for couples to put towards the purchase of an existing or older home.


In addition, the new KiwiSaver HomeStart grant also provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for couples to help with the costs of purchasing a brand new home.

How does the HomeStart grant work?

After three years of regularly contributing to KiwiSaver (of at least the minimum allowable percentage of your total income) you can apply for the HomeStart grant or if you are looking for your first home but haven’t yet found the right house, you can apply for pre-approval of your HomeStart application.

If you are purchasing an existing/older home, the HomeStart grant is $1,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme:

  • 3 years of contributing = $3,000 (the minimum you can get)
  • 4 years of contributing = $4,000
  • 5 years of contributing = $5,000 (the maximum you can get).

If you are purchasing a new home, a property bought off the plans or land to build a new home on, the HomeStart grant is $2,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme:

  • 3 years of contributing = $6,000 (the minimum you can get)
  • 4 years of contributing = $8,000
  • 5 years of contributing = $10,000 (the maximum you can get).

A home which received its building code compliance certificate less than six months before Housing New Zealand receives a HomeStart application is considered a new home. The certificate must relate to the home as a whole and not only some building work on the home. Buying a vacant residential section and planning to relocate an existing/older house on the site does not constitute a new build property and will only be eligible for a HomeStart grant of between $3,000 - $5,000.

If you live in the house you have bought for a minimum of six months from settlement date or if you use the HomeStart grant to purchase land to build a house on, and live in that house for a minimum of six months from the issue of the code compliance certificate for that house, then the HomeStart grant does not need to be paid back. If you move out before the relevant six month period ends, you may be required to pay the HomeStart grant back, with interest.

You can also buy a property with other people, who may or may not be KiwiSaver members. If they are members, you may all qualify for HomeStart grants. However, no more than $10,000 worth of grants will be paid for the purchase of an existing/older property and no more than $20,000 for a new home or for the purchase of land on which a home will be built.

You can only receive the HomeStart grant or its predecessor, the KiwiSaver deposit subsidy, once.

Checkout their website www.kiwisaver-homestart.co.nz to find out more details and criteria relating to the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant 


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