First home deposit subsidy


Buying a home with KiwiSaver

If you have question about KiwiSaver please call us between 8am and 5pm on:
0508 WELCOME (0508 935 266)

You can apply for the deposit subsidy if you have belonged and have regularly contributed to a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme for at least three years.

The subsidy 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)

You can buy a property with other people who may or may not also qualify for a deposit subsidy.

How do I apply?

Housing New Zealand administers the deposit subsidy on behalf of the Government.

You may receive the deposit subsidy only once, and it is paid directly to your solicitor on settlement day. You need to submit an application to Housing New Zealand for the deposit subsidy at least four weeks before the settlement date. The subsidy cannot be paid out after settlement date has occurred, so please ensure you apply within the stipulated timeframes.

How long will it take?

It will take seven working days to assess an application for the deposit subsidy, providing you include all the required supporting documents. If you are eligible, we will give you a letter confirming your deposit subsidy which you can take to the bank as it counts towards the total finance you have available to buy your first home. We will also send legal documents to your solicitor which you will need to sign and return to us no later than five working days before the settlement date. Once we receive these documents, we will arrange to pay the subsidy into your solicitor’s trust account on the day of settlement.

What if I have not yet found a house?

Alternatively, if you have not yet found a house to buy, you are able to apply for a KiwiSaver deposit subsidy pre-approval. A pre-approval is valid for 180 days and cannot be extended. At the end of the 180 days if you still have not bought a house, you will need to make a new application for a further pre-approval.

A pre-approval means you are free to house hunt with the knowledge that, providing the house you eventually buy meets the house price cap criteria, you have evidence that you have a deposit that is equal to or greater than 10 percent of the house purchase price and that nothing has changed from when you made your application, you will be eligible for the subsidy.

If you have a pre-approval, all you need to do is send Housing New Zealand your signed agreement for sale and purchase and your deposit evidence, no later than two weeks before the settlement date. Please note it is not essential the sale and purchase agreement is unconditional, but it must be signed by both the vendor and the purchaser.

What if I have owned property before?

If you have previously owned property (but no longer do so), you may still be eligible for the deposit subsidy. The same application process is followed; however you will need to complete the additional section in the File application form (PDF document, 239.6 kB) (Section E, page 9).