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KiwiSaver & first home buyers

Thinking about purchasing your first home? Congratulations! You might be able to use your KiwiSaver savings as your first home deposit.

How do I apply?

Here’s what you’ll need to do to apply:

  1. Check if you’re eligible
  2. Check how much you can withdraw
  3. Complete a first-home withdrawal application
  4. Gather supporting docs (sale & purchase, undertaking)
  5. Send documents to us or your financial adviser

We can give you a statement of your current entitlement, which you may need if you’re applying for home loan pre-approval. To get this, please contact us.

KiwiSaver and your first home

If you’re a KiwiSaver member, buying your first home could be easier than you think. Two ways your KiwiSaver account could assist with buying your first home are by getting a:

  • First home withdrawal
  • First Home Grant

Depending on your situation, you might be able to take advantage of both ways. Bear in mind that you must meet different conditions for each.

First home withdrawal

You may be eligible for a first-home withdrawal, which will let you put your KiwiSaver savings towards the cost of buying either:

  • Your first home
  • Land to build your first home

Can you get a first home withdrawal?

To make a first home withdrawal, you must meet all the following conditions. You need to:

  1. Have been a member of one or more KiwiSaver schemes for at least 3 years – or it must be at least 3 years after Inland Revenue received your first contribution
  2. Have never owned a home or land before, either in New Zealand or overseas, except in certain cases
  3. Plan to live in the home
  4. Be in New Zealand

If you have an interest in Māori land, you can make a first home withdrawal to build a home on that land. But you must meet all of the other conditions and provide evidence that you have the right to live on the land.

How much can you withdraw?

If you’re eligible for a first home withdrawal, you can take out your:

  • Employee contributions
  • Employer contributions
  • Voluntary contributions
  • Investment earnings
  • Government contributions, if you have any

You won’t be able to withdraw:

  • All your KiwiSaver money – you must leave at least $1,000 in your account
  • Any money transferred from an Australian complying superannuation scheme – although you can withdraw any investment returns made on these funds after they've been transferred to New Zealand

We can give you a statement of your current entitlement, which you may need if you’re applying for home loan pre-approval. To get this, please contact us.

How do you apply?

You'll need to send us or your financial adviser:

  • A completed Booster first home withdrawal application form 
  • A copy of the agreement for sale and purchase
  • An undertaking  from your solicitor relating to the holding, use and transfer of the withdrawn funds

You can get the agreement and undertaking from your solicitor or conveyancing practitioner.

You should make sure that you return your completed forms, along with all supporting documents, at least 10 working days before you need the money.

If your application is approved, the funds will be paid to your solicitor or conveyancing practitioner’s trust account. They must:

  • Only pay the money to the vendor or stakeholder as part of the purchase price
  • Repay the Booster KiwiSaver Scheme if the agreement is not completed by the due date or any agreed extended date.

First Home Grant

You may also qualify for a First Home Grant (previously known as a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant).

The First Home Grant is a government contribution towards the purchase price of your first home. It is offered through Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities.

Can you get a First Home Grant?

To qualify for the First Home Grant, you must meet certain conditions. The main conditions are that you must have:

  1. Been contributing a minimum percentage of your income to KiwiSaver for at least 3 years
  2. An income of $95,000 or less before tax for the last 12 months.

And if you're buying with someone else, or more than one person, your combined income will need to be $150,000 or less before tax.

You’ll also need to meet the rest of Kāinga Ora's eligibility conditions.

The purchase price of the home you’re buying must be within the house price caps for your region. These caps apply whether you're buying an existing home or new home.

How much can you get?

The size of the First Home Grant depends on:

  • How long you've been contributing to your KiwiSaver
  • The age of the home you're buying

The First Home Grant provides eligible first home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for two or more eligible buyers to put towards the purchase of an existing/older home.

If you're building or buying a brand-new home, the First Home Grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for two or more eligible buyers to help with the costs of purchasing a brand new home.

If you are buying a property with other people, you must be buying an equal share.

What is the deposit requirement?

You have to provide evidence that you have a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price of the house you want to buy or build.

This can include money:

  • From your KiwiSaver first home withdrawal
  • From your First Home Grant approval/pre-approval amount
  • That you have saved in the bank
  • You have already paid towards the property
  • Gifted by a close family member

How do you apply?

To apply for the First Home Grant, or for more information, contact Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities.

We're here to help

Call us on 0800 336 338

8am – 8pm Monday to Friday