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Changes to the First Home Partner Scheme make home ownership a reality for more Kiwis



Earlier in the month, the Government announced that it was making significant changes to the First Home Partner Scheme, administered by Kāinga Ora. These changes came into play on August 14th, and have made the scheme more accessible for a wider range of Kiwis.


The First Home Partner Scheme is designed to help Kiwis into their first home via shared home ownership. This means that the borrower is the majority owner of the property, however they share the ownership of the home with Kāinga Ora. They can then purchase the share back until they are the sole homeowner.

This is a great option for those that have at least a 5% deposit and can obtain a home loan, but can’t quite meet the purchase price. Kāinga Ora then steps in and makes up the difference, to the value of $200,000 or 25% of the purchase price (whichever is lower). Kāinga Ora then own that share of the home. As an example, say you have a deposit of 10% and can gain funding of 80%, Kāinga Ora will step in and make up the other 10%. They then own 10% of your home until you can purchase it back from them at the current market price.


So what are the changes? Let’s take a look….

  • The scheme used to only be available to those buying a new build or turnkey property. It is now available to all existing properties too.

  • The household income cap has increased from $130,000 to $150,000. This is applicable for both couples and singles.

  • The income cap criteria for intergenerational whānau have broadened to include larger families, meaning any eligible family of at least 6 people who normally live together can purchase a home via the scheme


Of course there are still the existing criteria that you need to meet, and this includes:


  • be over 18 years old

  • be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, or a resident visa holder who is “ordinarily resident in New Zealand”; OR be applying with someone who meets the citizenship or residency requirements, and you are married to or in a civil union or de facto partnership with that person

  • have a total household income before tax of no more than $150,000

  • have a good credit rating (subject to a credit report)

  • be a first home buyer

  • not previously received shared ownership support from Kāinga Ora


If you’d like to know more about whether First Home Partner could be an option for you, then get in touch with our mortgage advisors. We can help you work through the eligibility criteria to see if this is a product that could help you get into your first home quicker.

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