Buying Your First Home Using KiwiSaver

    Kiwisaver can provide you with valuable help to buy your first home. You can apply to withdraw all or parts of your KiwiSaver savings (however you must leave a minimum balance of $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account) and use it towards the purchase price on your first home – this is known as the first home buyer withdrawal.

    You may also qualify for a Housing NZ KiwiSaver HomeStart grant of up to $10,000.

    If you have previously owned a home and want a second chance, this facility could also be available to you – conditions apply (see below for details).


    First Home Buyer Withdrawal – Who Can Apply For This?

    You can make a first home withdrawal if you:

    – have been a KiwiSaver member for at least three years (please note that any time that you were a member of a complying scheme prior to joining KiwiSaver does not count towards the three or more years required to qualify);

    – have not made a withdrawal from a KiwiSaver scheme for the purchase of a home before;

    – are purchasing a property that is, or is intended to be, your principal place of residence; and

    – are buying your first home (or have confirmation from Housing New Zealand that you are in the same position as a first home buyer in terms of income, assets and liabilities).

    If you have owned a property before and your financial position is the same as a first home buyer, you can apply to Housing New Zealand to be considered for a withdrawal as a “second chance” home buyer.


    How Do I Get The Funds?

    The funds will be transferred to your solicitor’s trust account prior to settlement.

    KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant

    If you have been contributing to your KiwiSaver account (or a complying superannuation fund) for at least three years, you might also be eligible for a Housing New Zealand KiwiSaver HomeStart grant of up to:

    – $5,000 if you’re buying an existing home ($1,000 per year of contributions); or

    – $10,000 if you’re buying or building a new home ($2,000 per year of contributions).

    Eligibility criteria apply; including minimum contribution requirements, limits on your income and the value of the house you want to buy or build.

    How Do I Apply For This?

    Housing New Zealand administers this grant, please contact them directly for more information:

    – visit


    FAQs – First Home Purchases

    Can I apply for a first home withdrawal to buy an investment property?
    – Unfortunately you can’t. You can only apply for a first home withdrawal if the property is intended to be your principal place of residence.

    I already own some land. Can I apply for a first home withdrawal to build a house on it?
    – Unfortunately you can’t. Owning land is treated the same as owning a house as far as KiwiSaver is concerned, so you won’t be eligible to apply for a first home withdrawal.

    I joined KiwiSaver two years ago and I’m about to buy a house. Can I apply for a first home withdrawal?
    – Unfortunately you can’t. You need to be a KiwiSaver member for three years before you can apply for a first home withdrawal.

    I own a house overseas. Can I apply for a first home withdrawal to buy a house in New Zealand?
    – Unfortunately you can’t. Irrespective of where the house is, if you already own a home, you aren’t eligible to apply for a first home withdrawal.

    I already own a home. Can I apply for a first home withdrawal to pay off my mortgage?
    – Unfortunately you can’t.

    Can I withdraw my Australian Superannuation savings from my KiwiSaver account to use towards my first home?
    – Unfortunately you can’t. You Aussie Super savings are still bound by Australian legislation. You can only withdraw them when you satisfy the Australian definition of retirement.

    Can I apply for a first home withdrawal to buy land?
    – Yes, you can. You can apply for a first home withdrawal to buy land provided that you intend to live on the property.

    When will my kiwiSaver savings be paid out?
    – For an unconditional sale and purchase agreement, funds will be paid to your Solicitor’s trust account up to 5 working days prior to settlement date.