The Government has announced some changes to its building programme to help support more people into home ownership. This includes changes from 1 October 2019 to the HomeStart Grant / Welcome Home Loan.
Read the announcement on the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development's website(external link).
Welcome Home Loans make it easier for you to get into your first home.
The Welcome Home Loan is offered by lenders, supported by Housing New Zealand, and, designed for first home buyers who can afford to make regular repayments on a home loan, but have trouble saving for a large deposit.
With a Welcome Home Loan you only need a 10 percent deposit, not a 20 percent deposit as required by most lenders.
Housing New Zealand does not issue the loan. This is done through normal lenders such as selected banks, building societies and credit unions. Housing New Zealand underwrites the loan for the lender. You will need to meet the lender’s specific lending criteria.
The maximum amount you can borrow with a Welcome Home Loan depends on the region you are buying in. Each region has a house price cap. The maximum loan for that region is the house price cap less your 10 percent deposit.
The house price caps
House price cap for existing/older properties
House price cap for new properties
|Auckland, Queenstown Lakes District||$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||$500,000||$550,000|
|Rest of New Zealand||$400,000||$500,000|
To be eligible for a Welcome Home Loan your combined household income for the last 12 months must have been $85,000 or less (before tax) if you are the sole borrower. If you are partnering with one or more borrowers to buy a house, then you can have a combined household income up to $130,000 (before tax).
Do you need help with your deposit?
There is help available if you are having trouble saving your deposit. Your deposit can be gifted by a relative. You can team up with other borrowers to put together your deposit and purchase a home. You can also use two features offered by KiwiSaver – the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant and KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal.
The Welcome Home Loan is only available from selected lenders who have their own specific credit criteria that you will need to meet along with some standard Welcome Home Loan eligibility criteria. Visit the Welcome Home Loan website(external link):
for a list of lenders(external link) currently offering Welcome Home Loans
for more details on how the Welcome Home Loan(external link) works.