Thinking of buying your first home?
Kiwisaver has TWO features that could help Purchasers buy their first home – the Kiwisaver HomeStart Grant and the Kiwisaver First Home Withdrawal.  There is quite often confusion between the TWO features and they differ significantly as follows:

Kiwisaver HomeStart Grant

This is applied via Housing New Zealand (not the Kiwisaver provider) and has specific criteria which includes the following:

  1. Must have been in Kiwisaver for a minimum of three years and contributed the minimum amount during that time.
  2. Must meet the price cap for Hawkes Bay of $400,000.00 (for existing homes) and $450,000.00 (for new homes).
  3. Must meet the salary cap of $85,000.00 for one Purchaser, or $130,000.00 for two or more Purchasers (based on the last 12 months).
  4. Must have a deposit of 10% or more of the purchase price and this can include money from the Kiwisaver HomeStart Grant and Kiwisaver First Home Withdrawal.
  5. Must remain in the house for a minimum of six months, or else may be required to repay the money to Housing New Zealand.

The grant for purchasing an existing home is between $3,000.00 and $5,000.00 ($1,000.00 per year of contributions, up to a maximum of five years) and the grant for purchasing a new home is between $6,000.00 and $10,000.00 ($2,000.00 per year of contributions, up to a maximum of five years).

Kiwisaver First Home Withdrawal

This is applied via the Kiwisaver provider and has specific criteria which includes the following:

  1. Must have been in Kiwisaver for a minimum of three years.
  2. Must intend to live in the property.
  3. Must have never owned a property before (or Housing New Zealand has approved the Purchaser as a Second Chance Purchaser).
  4. Must have never made a withdrawal from the Kiwisaver provider before.
  5. Must leave a minimum of $1,000.00 in account.
  6. Cannot withdraw any amount transferred from an Australian complying superannuation fund.

There is no house price cap or salary cap.

Both the Kiwisaver HomeStart Grant and the Kiwisaver First Home Withdrawal have one thing in common – the money must only be used to purchase a first (or second chance) home and cannot be used for an investment property.

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Not the first home?

Purchasers may still be eligible to use a Kiwisaver First Home Withdrawal as a Second Chance Purchaser.  Housing New Zealand will need to determine if they are still in the same financial position as that of a first home buyer.