Are you eligible?



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Minimum Deposit


House Price Cap

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First Home Buyer

House Price Cap

House price cap for existing/older properties
House price cap for new properties
Auckland, Queenstown Lakes District
$ 600,000
$ 650,000
Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kāpiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District
$ 500,000
$ 550,000
Rest of New Zealand
$ 400,000
$ 500,000

What about if I want to build a house?

Some participating lenders allow you to build a new house with a First Home Loan. Please ask your preferred lender if they do and what their criteria is.


Maximum amount you can borrow

The maximum amount you can borrow with a First Home Loan depends on the region you are buying in. Each region has a house price cap. The maximum loan for that region is the house price cap less your 5% deposit.

As well as having a 5% deposit, you need to meet certain criteria including an income cap and regional house price cap. You will also need to meet the specific lending criteria of the participating lender you choose.


The criteria are listed below along with an easy guide to check at a glance if you are eligible to apply.

  • Income cap - You can have a maximum yearly income of up to $85,000 (before tax) for 1 person. Or a combined maximum yearly income of $130,000 (before tax) for 2 or more people.

  • Minimum deposit - You will need a minimum 5% of the purchase price of the house you are wishing to buy.

  • House price cap - The price of the house you are buying with a First Home Loan must be less than the regional house price cap.

  • First home buyer - Or a previous home owner, in a similar financial position to a typical first home buyer.

Maximum income

To be eligible for a First Home Loan your household income for the last 12 months must have been $85,000 or less (before tax) if you are the sole borrower. If you are teaming up with one or more borrowers to buy a house, then you can have a combined household income up to $130,000 (before tax) in the last 12 months.


Key bank lending criteria

In addition to meeting the governments criteria for a First Home loan, you will also need to meet the lending criteria of your bank or credit union before your loan can be made.

Participating lenders may have slightly different lending criteria but they will include your financial ability to repay the loan, your level of debt, your credit history and the way you’ve conducted your bank accounts in the past.



Other criteria

  • You must live in the home you are buying. A First Home Loan cannot be used to buy an investment or rental property.

  • You cannot own any other property.

  • You will need to pay a Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) premium of 1% of the loan account. The lender may also apply a loan application fee. In most cases these fees can be built into the home loan. Talk to your participating lender to see what applies.

  • You are a New Zealand citizen or permanent New Zealand resident or a resident visa holder who is ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

  • While an age restriction is not part of the standard eligibility criteria for a First Home Loan, in general participating lenders will require applicants to be a minimum of 18 years of age.

Own Your Own Home

for 5% Deposit

What  you need to know about First Home Loan

First Home Loan (previously Welcome Home Loan) makes it easier for you to get into your first home.  It can be a struggle to find the deposit with most lenders currently requiring a 20% deposit, with the First Home Loan you only need a 5% deposit – this means getting in to your first home is so much easier.


First Home Loans are issued by banks and other lenders and underwritten by Housing New Zealand.  This allows the lender to provide loans that would otherwise sit outside the lending standards.


How to apply?

To apply for a First Home Loan, you need to pass all eligibility criteria set out on the "Are you eligible?" section of this page. Then you will need to choose a participating lender and complete their loan application form. 

Keep in mind that although the government sets First Home Loan eligibility criteria, each lender has their own credit criteria that must be met. 

At Harveys Papakura, we have a resident Loans Expert and Mortgage Broker Tania O'Leary from Kiwibank she can assist you with any type of housing loan.


Tania O'Leary

Harveys Papakura Resident Mortgage Broker

Do you have a preferred banking/credit union partner? See full list by clicking here.


You can either apply for a First Home Loan pre-approval or a final approval.

Pre-Approval - Applying for a pre-approval will allow you to confirm that you fit the eligibility criteria and the lender’s lending criteria. The lender will be able to advise you the amount that they are prepared to lend you. You can then look for a suitable property in that house price range. Once you have found a property, you return to the lender to gain a final loan approval.

Final Approval - if you have already found a property that you wish to purchase with a First Home Loan, you could apply for a final approval. In this circumstance, the lender will assess that both your circumstances, and the property fit the loan requirements.

Help with your Deposit

There is help available if you are having trouble saving your deposit:

  • Your deposit can be gifted by a relative

  • You can also use two features provided by KiwiSaver:

    • If you are a member of KiwiSaver and have been contributing regularly for at least three years, you may be eligible for a First Home Grant and a KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal.

    • First Home Grant: The First Home Grant was introduced on 1 October 2019, replacing the KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant and before that, the KiwiSaver first-home deposit subsidy. Like those two products, the First Home Grant provides eligible first-home buyers with a grant of up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for couples to put towards the purchase of an existing home.

    • In addition, the First Home Grant also provides eligible first-home buyers with up to $10,000 for individuals and up to $20,000 for couples to help with the costs of purchasing a brand new home

    • First-home withdrawal: Changes to the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal were also introduced on 1 April 2015 that means eligible members can withdraw their KiwiSaver contributions (including tax credits). However at least $1,000 must remain in their KiwiSaver account.

To find out more about the First Home Grant and the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal

Not yet a member of KiwiSaver? Go to link) to find out about joining.

Information found on this page has been taken from the Housing New Zealand website.