The Government’s KiwiBuild scheme has launched intending to provide affordable new housing to first home buyers in New Zealand. The scheme is also available to previous homeowners who are in a similar financial position as a first home buyer.

KiwiBuild homes are modern, newly built properties ranging in size from studio apartments through to four-bedroom homes. The properties are sold for a fixed price which is subject to prices caps of between $500,000 to $650,000 depending on the size and location.

Who is Eligible?

To be considered eligible, you must be a first home buyer or previous homeowner in a similar financial position to a first home buyer (“Second-Chancer”)

In addition, you must meet all of the following requirements:

• Be over the age of 18 years.

• Be a New Zealand citizen, New Zealand permanent resident or New Zealand resident who is ‘ordinarily resident in New Zealand’.

• Have an income of no more than $120,000 for a single purchaser or a combined total income of $180,000 if there is more than one purchaser (e.g. a couple).

• Intend on owning the home for at least three years. The Government is amending this rule so that studios or single bedroom properties that are purchased through the scheme are only required to be owned for one year.

• Use the property as their principal place of residence during the ownership period. There are some exceptions to this depending on an owner’s circumstance during the ownership period.

In some circumstances, a beneficiary of a trust that owns a property will not be eligible as a first home buyer under the scheme. We can provide you with advice in respect of your position as beneficiary if you have questions or concerns.

KiwiBuild Eligibility Application

To confirm your eligibility, you will need to complete the eligibility application, which includes providing KiwiBuild with proof of your identity, address and income as well as completing a statutory declaration.

You can only apply for eligibility in one application. If you would like to purchase a KiwiBuild property with another person, you must all complete the same application.

Second-Chancer

A Second-Chancer is determined by measuring the person’s realisable assets. This is consistent with the process used in the First Home Grant applications (previously known as HomeStart Grant). A Second-Chancer’s assets must be less than $80,000 to $120,000 depending on their where they reside in New Zealand (the asset test excludes KiwiSaver funds).

This cap does not apply to first home buyers.

Ballot

You must enter a ballot for any or all of the available properties that you are interested in purchasing. If successful at any ballot, you can only purchase one property.

We can review the agreement and assist with accessing your KiwiSaver funds and First Home Grant following your success at a ballot.

For more information

If you would like further information on whether you may be eligible to purchase a KiwiBuild property or assistance with completing the application, please contact our property law expert Jamie Nunns on 04 495 8912 or email jamie.nunns@morrisonkent.com

First home buyers guides:

First home buyers - Morrison Kent Property Law