Below is a list of commonly asked questions about KiwiBuild.
The FAQs are designed to be helpful, but they are not a complete discussion and shouldn’t be viewed as a substitute for legal advice.
If you would like to contact the KiwiBuild team (8am-5pm, Monday to Friday), please get in touch.
Who is KiwiBuild for?
KiwiBuild is for New Zealanders who are looking to buy their first home and for ‘second chancers’ – people who have previously owned a home but no longer do, and are in a similar financial position to a first home buyer.
How does KiwiBuild work?
KiwiBuild is a Government-led initiative to assist first home buyers who have been locked out of the New Zealand housing market with an opportunity to buy their first home.
We do this by working with developers and the private sector to:
- increase the speed of developers bringing homes to market
- increasing the number of affordable homes developers include in their developments
- purchasing land for Government-led developments
- integrating affordable housing into major urban development or regeneration projects
- setting price caps for KiwiBuild homes
- making these homes available exclusively to eligible buyers
- supporting developers and connecting them with eligible KiwiBuild buyers.
KiwiBuild homes are supplied by developers and builders, assisted and supported by KiwiBuild.
What are KiwiBuild homes like?
Home sizes and styles will vary from development to development, so you need to check with developers directly as to what they have available.
You can find developer information on each KiwiBuild development on our interactive map.
Where are KiwiBuild homes available?
The overall goal of the KiwiBuild programme is to build 100,000 homes across New Zealand over 10 years. Half of these homes will be built in Auckland to help meet the growing demand for housing in our biggest city.
Outside of Auckland, there will be an initial focus on areas with high housing demand. More development locations will be announced as the programme continues.
How much do KiwiBuild homes cost?
KiwiBuild homes are sold at agreed fixed prices. These reflect the cost of building them, including factors such as the location of the development and the type of home that is being built.
In Auckland and Queenstown-Lakes, a KiwiBuild home cannot exceed the maximum price of $650,000.
In these two regions, we also break it down further:
- Studio, one bedroom, or one bedroom + study have a maximum price of $500,000
- Two bedrooms have maximum price of $600,000
- Three or more bedrooms have maximum price of $650,000
In all other the regions, the maximum price cap is $500,000.
It is important to note that these are the upper price caps that a KiwiBuild home can be sold for. In many cases, homes are being sold under the price cap.
What is a 'second chancer'?
A 'second chancer’ is someone who was a previous home owner but no longer owns a home.
To be eligible for KiwiBuild as a second chancer, you must meet all other KiwiBuild criteria and the combined total of your realisable assets cannot add up to more than:
- $120,000 for applicants who want to buy a KiwiBuild home in Auckland or Queenstown-Lakes District
- $100,000 for applicants who want to buy a KiwiBuild home in Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Nelson City, Tasman District, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, or Selwyn District
- $80,000 for applicants who want to buy a KiwiBuild home in the rest of New Zealand.
Realisable assets are belongings (in both New Zealand and overseas) that you can sell to help buy a home.
Your KiwiSaver funds do not count as realisable assets, even if you want to use that money to help purchase your KiwiBuild home.
You can find out more by reading our Eligibility Guide [PDF 105KB].
Are KiwiBuild homes subsidised by the Government or given away for free?
No. KiwiBuild home buyers need funding (such as a mortgage) like any other home buyer.
KiwiBuild homes are also not subsidised – the purpose of the KiwiBuild programme is to increase the availability of homes in the affordable price range, to enable more people to be able to enter the housing market.
Can I buy a KiwiBuild home in a different part of New Zealand to where I currently live?
Yes. As long as you intend to own and live in the home as your primary residence for at least three years, you can look to purchase a KiwiBuild home anywhere in New Zealand they are available.
However, it’s important to note that it may be difficult to secure financial pre-approval from your bank or other lender for a location where you don’t currently have a job or source of income.
Why are some KiwiBuild homes being sold ‘off the plans’ and others once they are complete?
It is common practice in a new housing development to offer homes for sale ‘off the plans’ while they are under construction. Typically, some homes sell in this way and others don’t sell until they are complete. KiwiBuild is no different.
In some KiwiBuild developments, homes are being sold ‘off the plans’ to eligible buyers who want to secure a KiwiBuild home early. Other buyers may choose to wait until the homes are fully completed before looking at making a purchase. It is completely up to you.
How much of a deposit do I need to buy a KiwiBuild home?
Once you know the price of the home you wish to buy, you will need to discuss the required deposit amount with both the developer and your bank or financial lender.
As all KiwiBuild homes are new builds, banks may require as little as five percent deposit for the home. You’ll need proof of financial pre-approval from a bank or other lender in order to purchase a KiwiBuild home, so our advice is to begin talking to your bank early about what you’ll need.
Can I use my KiwiSaver balance to buy a KiwiBuild home?
It may be possible to use your KiwiSaver account toward the purchase of your first home; however there are some conditions that need to be met in order for you to make a withdrawal.
You can find more information on these conditions on the KiwiSaver website or you can contact your KiwiSaver provider to discuss applying for a first-home withdrawal.
Can I get the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant for a KiwiBuild home?
If you have been regularly contributing to your KiwiSaver for a minimum of three years, you may be eligible for a HomeStart Grant to help with your deposit.
HomeStart grants are up to $10,000 per person, or $20,000 for two people buying a home together if they are both eligible.
Can I get a Welcome Home Loan for a KiwiBuild home?
If you need some help putting together your deposit for a mortgage, you may be eligible for a Welcome Home Loan. Some lenders offer Welcome Home Loans to first home buyers who can afford to make regular repayments on a home loan, but are having trouble saving for a large deposit.
What’s the difference between buying by direct sale and buying through a ballot?
Buying by direct sale means that you can buy directly from the developer or their real estate agent without going through a ballot.
Once you have found a KiwiBuild home you would like to buy, you can enter into a conditional agreement with the agent while you await confirmation of your eligibility, or you can confirm that you are already an approved, eligible KiwiBuild buyer.
You can also include other relevant conditions such as ‘subject to finance’.
If KiwiBuild believes there will be a greater number of interested buyers than available homes in a development, a ballot system may be used. This ensures the sales process is fair and everyone has an equal opportunity to buy a home. If homes are being sold by a ballot system, this will be clearly identified on the KiwiBuild website.
If you are going to enter a ballot, it’s really important that you visit the development first and get a good understanding of the home you would like to buy.
Only confirmed eligible buyers can enter a ballot. You can enter as many ballots as you like, but the system will only allow you to win one ballot. If you win a ballot, you can then choose to buy the home.
How do I stay informed about KiwiBuild?
Join the KiwiBuild mailing list to get the latest updates.
What will KiwiBuild do with my information?
KiwiBuild will use the information and documents you provide to determine if you are eligible and ready to buy a KiwiBuild home.
Your information will not be passed to third parties unless it is necessary to do so for the purpose for which you gave us the information (e.g. to monitor or enforce compliance with obligations agreed to under the KiwiBuild scheme) or where you authorise the disclosure. KiwiBuild will not otherwise disclose personal information provided or collected through this website unless required or otherwise permitted by law.
KiwiBuild may develop and publish reports containing aggregated data on the KiwiBuild scheme, but individuals will not be personally identifiable in any such report.
Who do I need to talk to about buying a KiwiBuild home directly?
For developments where homes are available by direct sale, you will need to get in touch with the developer or the real estate agent and discuss the requirements of sale.
You will be able to find developer information for each KiwiBuild development on our interactive map.
How do the KiwiBuild ballots work?
Once you have confirmed you are an eligible KiwiBuild buyer, you will be able to enter ballots for KiwiBuild homes where they have been made available.
You can enter ballots for more than one home at a time – for example, you might choose to enter the ballots for all the two-bedroom KiwiBuild homes in a particular development. However, you can only win one ballot. If your name is selected in the ballot for a home, you’ll be given the exclusive first opportunity to buy it.
What if I change my mind about buying a KiwiBuild home during the purchase process or after winning a ballot?
As with any home, you are entitled to decline the opportunity to buy the KiwiBuild home up until such time as you sign an agreement with the seller regardless of the method of sale.
Why do I have to live in my KiwiBuild home for three years?
When you buy a KiwiBuild home, you will sign a Deed of Covenant [PDF 433KB] agreement to own and occupy the home for three years. This requirement is designed to prevent KiwiBuild properties from being bought by people who have no intention of living in them and discourage speculative property investment.
Can I sell or rent my KiwiBuild home?
You can have flatmates or boarders, but the home must remain your primary place of residence. If a buyer breaches this agreement, 30 percent of any rental income or capital gain may be returned to the Government.
What if there is a significant change in my circumstances?
If there is a significant change in your personal circumstances, you can apply to KiwiBuild for permission to sell your home.
This may include a change in family circumstances, the need to move for a job, or a sudden change in your financial situation. In these situations, you must seek prior approval from KiwiBuild to sell the home before the three year period is complete.
If you get permission from KiwiBuild to sell your home you will not be required to pay 30 percent of any rental income or capital gain to the Government in the event of sale.
If I buy my KiwiBuild home while it is still under construction, do I still have to actually live in it for three years before I can sell it?
Yes. You are still required to live in the home as your primary place of residence for three years from the date of settlement.
I’m a property developer, who can I speak with about working with KiwiBuild?
Have a look at KiwiBuild's information for builders and property developers.