KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and savings withdrawal

Published: 1 August 2016

A builder with a couple looking at building plans

KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings initiative to help you with your long-term saving for retirement. It has a range of membership benefits including contributions from your employer and the Government, as well as help with buying your first home.

 

KiwiSaver has two features to help you buy your first home:

The KiwiSaver HomeStart grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 where there are two or more eligible buyers to put towards the purchase of an existing/older home.

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

 

A number of changes to the eligibility criteria for the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant took effect on 1 August 2016.

The key changes are outlined below. You can also download the factsheet [PDF, 41 KB] here.

House price caps

The existing house price caps will be increased by $50,000 to the new levels of $400,000, $500,000 and $600,000. (See table below for details) These house price caps are to be used exclusively for existing/older properties.

Additionally a new house price cap has been added. These caps will be set at $450,000, $550,000 and $650,000 and are for new properties such as off the plan purchases, house and land packages, the purchase of land on which a new property will be built or a newly built property where the code compliance certificate has been issued within the last six months. (See table below for details)

Income caps

The existing income cap limits of $80,000 for one buyer and $120,000 for two or more buyers are to be increased to $85,000 and $130,000 (before tax) respectively. These caps are based on income earned in the previous 12 month period.

Previous home owners

For the assessment of previous home owners, the realisable assets test will be based on the house price cap for existing/older properties, not the new property caps.

 

 

House price caps

Eligibility Criteria

Prior to 1 Aug 2016

All properties

From 1 Aug 2016

Existing/ older properties

From 1 Aug 2016

New properties

Auckland $550,000 $600,000 $650,000
Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Queenstown Lakes District $450,000 $500,000 $550,000
Rest of New Zealand $350,000 $400,000 $450,000

 

 

Income caps (before tax)

Eligibility Criteria

Prior to 1 Aug 2016

All properties

From 1 Aug 2016

Existing/ older properties

From 1 Aug 2016

New properties

Individual buyer $80,000 or less in the previous 12 months $85,000 or less in the previous 12 months $85,000 or less in the previous 12 months
Two or more buyers $120,000 or less in the previous 12 months $130,000 or less in the previous 12 months $130,000 or less in the previous 12 months

 

 

Previous home owners

Eligibility Criteria

Prior to 1 Aug 2016

All properties

From 1 Aug 2016

Existing/ older properties

From 1 Aug 2016

New properties

  Realisable assets level of no more than 20% of the regional house price cap Realisable assets level of no more than 20% of the regional house price cap for existing/older properties Realisable assets level of no more than 20% of the regional house price cap for existing/older properties
Auckland $110,000 $120,000 $120,000
Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Queenstown Lakes District $90,000 $100,000 $100,000
Rest of New Zealand $70,000 $80,000 $80,000

 

 

Important information - If you submitted your application before 1 August 2016, click here.

 

Applying for both the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and the KiwiSaver savings withdrawal determination as a previous home owner.

Recently, KiwiSaver legislation was amended to allow a greater number of KiwiSaver members, who had previously owned property, but no longer did so, to access their funds to buy property. This has resulted in a change to how some members should apply for the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and the KiwiSaver savings withdrawal determination.

From 1 July 2016, if a KiwiSaver member who has previously owned property, but no longer does so, wants to apply for both the HomeStart grant and the savings withdrawal determination, then they must complete two separate forms. These are:

  • KiwiSaver HomeStart pre-approval/approval form
  • KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal determination for previous home owner form

You can no longer apply for both options from one application, as was the case prior to 1 July 2016.

This applies to both applying via the online application form and through a downloaded application form, that you can get from the Publications page of the website.

Please ensure that you apply on the relevant application form(s) in order to minimise delays. Additionally, any application submitted must be on the correct application and those that are old and obsolete will not be processed.

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