FirstHome is a home ownership initiative which helps eligible buyers to afford to buy selected properties Housing New Zealand is selling across the country.
To help with the deposit, eligible buyers receive a grant of 10 percent of the purchase price of the property, capped at $20,000.
The initiative is designed to support first-home buyers to achieve home ownership. It is most suitable for people with modest incomes who can afford to make regular mortgage repayments but have difficulty saving for a deposit. People who have previously owned a home may also be eligible for the initiative if their financial situation is similar to that of a first home buyer.
These homes are exclusively available for first home buyers for a minimum of three months. If the house is not sold then it may be placed on the open market. FirstHome properties are mainly located in provincial areas.
From 1 December 2015 Housing New Zealand tenants who wish to buy the house they are living in, which has been confirmed as being one for sale, can apply for a FirstHome grant. The FirstHome grant is not available in areas where there is high demand for state houses. These areas include Auckland, Wellington City, Christchurch, Hamilton and Tauranga.
Buyers may also be eligible for other first home ownership assistance, such as Welcome Home Loan(external link), and the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and/or KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal. If you are eligible, you can combine these with the FirstHome grant to help you buy a FirstHome property.
Please note that this is only available for the purchase of specific Housing New Zealand properties and cannot be applied for to buy any other properties.