KiwiSaver For Your First Home

There are two key ways KiwiSaver can assist with your first home deposit;

  1. Withdrawal
  2. HomeStart Grant

Since you can only apply for a withdrawal or grant once you have made an offer on a property or land for a new build, we strongly recommend you consult our experts for advice on seeking pre-approval.

KiwiSaver For Your First Home

Home Deposit

There are two key ways KiwiSaver can assist with your first home deposit;

  1. Withdrawal
  2. HomeStart Grant

Since you can only apply for a withdrawal or grant once you have made an offer on a property or land for a new build, we strongly recommend you consult our experts for advice on seeking pre-approval.

Withdrawal

Entering the property market can be a challenge for first-home buyers. This is why, in some cases, you may be able to withdraw funds from your KiwiSaver account to help you buy or build your first home.

You may be able to remove saved funds from your KiwiSaver account after having contributed for a minimum of three years to the scheme. This includes voluntary and compulsory contributions from your employer, your own contributions, and tax credits. You will be required to leave a minimum of $1,000 in the account.

After purchasing, you must live in the home for at least six months, as you may not use your KiwiSaver funds for an investment property.

There are some circumstances in which you may use your KiwiSaver funds if you have previously owned a home, and our advisers will be able to guide you through this process.

You will need to contact your KiwiSaver provider to apply for withdrawal of funds, so it is important you choose a company that knows the scheme inside and out.

After approval is granted, the money will be deposited directly to your solicitor or conveyancing practitioner. Some or all of the withdrawal amount may be paid to the stakeholder, and will be put towards the deposit. If for some reason the settlement is not completed the vendor or real estate agency is obliged to return the money to your solicitor, which will be placed back into your KiwiSaver account. Any balance withdrawn that is not used for a deposit is held by your solicitor for settlement. There are measures in place to return any residual funds if settlement is not completed.

You will remain a KiwiSaver member after you have made your withdrawal for your first home, making contributions or taking a contributions holiday to focus on repaying your mortgage. The team at Lifetime is dedicated to the very best outcome for you and your investment, guiding you through this process from beginning to end.

HomeStart Grant

The KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant can also assist you if you are eligible. The HomeStart grant administered by Housing New Zealand may contribute up to $5,000 for a pre-existing home or $10,000 towards the cost of a new build. For a couple, this can together be up to $10,000 for an existing home or $20,000 for a new build.

The KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant value is based on the type of property you are purchasing and how long you have been actively contributing to KiwiSaver. The following chart shows the amount available per person:

Existing Home New Build
3 years $3,000 3 years $6,000
4 years $4,000 4 years $8,000
5 years $5,000 5 years $10,000


There are times you may be able to apply to withdraw KiwiSaver funds even if you have had a home before, depending on your circumstances. In these cases, Housing New Zealand becomes involved in the process.

You can begin the process of searching for your first home up to six months before you commit to a property by applying for pre-approval. Once this has been organised and as long as you stay within the six month valid period, you will only need to provide a copy of the signed agreement for sale and purchase, along with proof of a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price, within ten working days prior to your settlement date.

Lifetime has advisers trained in all areas of buying and selling homes, loans, KiwiSaver withdrawal, and insurance. Come speak with us on how to best manage your purchase, save money on your loan, and where to get the right legal advice from a lawyer if needed.

It makes sense to come to us. Our personal service and expertise will make you feel confident that you are doing all the right things while applying for your HomeStart Grant so it all goes smoothly.

KiwiSaver First Home Purchase Criteria

There are a few conditions to using a KiwiSaver withdrawal and/or HomeStart grant, such as a combined household income of less than $130,000 and having a deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price of the home, including the grant.

The criteria are;

  • Being a KiwiSaver member for a combined period of at least three years
  • You have not made a withdrawal from your scheme to purchase a home or land previously
  • You intend to use the home as your main residence
  • You have a household income (before tax) of less than $85,000 per year for one individual or $130,000 combined 
  • You have at least 10% deposit of the overall property or land value, including the addition of the grant
  • You are over 18

Once these factors are met, you will need to work out the amount you or other purchasers can remove from the contributions you, your employers, and Government Member Tax Contributions have made. The next step is to correctly apply for withdrawal of funds, a process we are more than happy and qualified to assist you with.

KiwiSaver has been the most successful public private partnership in New Zealand’s recent history and has persuaded more than 1.7 million New Zealanders to commit to long term savings for retirement, well beyond the initial expectations of Government. (FSC, 2016).

8th Mar by Joe Byrne

Lifetime is truly up and running post its 2018 merger and now rolling out new and improved advice and investment training program for our advisers and administration staff. 

7th Mar by Joe Byrne

There are several drivers of returns from investing in companies. The main two are from a company growing their earnings over time and from paying dividends to shareholders. But recently in New Zealand we have seen instances of another driver of returns - takeovers. 

25th Jan by Joe Byrne

Happy New Year to all and I hope that you all had a wonderful and peaceful holiday season. As I noted in my recent quarterly performance report, we remain optimistic about the markets over the long-term but have a cautious short-term outlook as we expect volatility to remain with us for the foreseeable future.