Government’s announcement of changes to home ownership products

Yesterday, the Housing Minister announced a number of changes to the government’s programme to assist New Zealanders into home ownership.

In case you missed the announcement, the changes are:
1. KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant will become “First Home Grant”
2. The minimum deposit requirement for the First Home Grant will reduce to 5% for both new and existing homes (currently the minimum deposit is 10%)
3. The First Home Grant can be paid to all buyers, who are eligible for the grant, where there are three or more buyers, by removing the current cap of $10,000 for existing houses or $20,000 for new properties
4. The definition for new properties for First Home Grants will be amended to define new properties as properties where the Building Code Compliance Certificate was issued less than twelve months before the date of the first home buyer’s First Home Grant application (currently this is six months).
5. Welcome Home Loan will be renamed “First Home Loan”
6. The minimum deposit requirement for First Home Loan will reduce to 5% for both new and existing properties

These changes come into effect on 1 October. From which date Housing New Zealand will become part of a new organisation called Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities. While our name is changing, we will continue to assess grant applications, but will not be able to assess applications under the revised criteria until 1 October.

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