property market update v2

5 August 2022

A Boost for First Home Buyers

The Government announced some relieving changes in the heated housing market for First Home Grants, First Home Loans, and the Kāinga Whenua Loan Scheme.  The changes took effect on 1 June 2022.


It has been a challenging time for first home buyers, and these changes should bring some relief to those who are wanting to get into the property market.


First Home Grant Changes:


House price caps for regions around New Zealand have increased, for both existing and new properties.  This change is set to be reviewed bi-annually. The remaining criteria applicants will need to meet are, but not limited to:


  • Minimum three years of contributing to Kiwisaver of at least 3% of your annual income, or $1,000.00 annually, whichever is the lesser;
  • Hold a cash equivalent of at least 5% of the purchase price for the property;
  • Agree to live in the purchased property for a minimum of 6 months.


 Region      Existing Properties  New Properties
 Christchurch Urban Area  $550,000  $750,000
 Ashburton District  $400,000  $500,000
 Timaru District  $400,000  $500,000
 Hurunui District  $425,000  $500,000
 Marlborough District  $550,000  $575,000
 Nelson-Tasman District  $650,000  $875,000
 Mackenzie District  $500,000  $500,000
 Central Otago District  $525,000  $800,000
 Dunedin City  $500,000  $675,000










For more information on other regions, visit:


First Home Loans


The house purchase price caps have been removed completely for First Home Loans. This will provide people with more freedom to qualifying first home buyers. The criteria applicants need to meet are, but not limited to:


  • Contributions to Kiwisaver to a minimum of three years;
  • Holding a cash equivalent of 5% of the purchase price;
  • Earning less before tax per annum than the income caps;
  • $95,000 for individuals without dependents;
  • $150,000 for individuals with dependants; (or)
  • A combined income in $150,000 for two or more buyers


Kāinga Whenua Loan Scheme


The loan cap for the Kāinga Whenua Loan Scheme has increased from $200,000 to $500,000. The Kāinga Whenua Loan Scheme is aimed at assisting applicants to purchase, build, and relocate dwellings onto Māori Land in shared ownership and has its own specific scheme criteria. Where the loan amount exceeds $200,000, successful applicants will also need to hold a cash equivalent of 15% of the borrowed funds.


Changes to the First Home Loans and Kāinga Whenua Loan Schemes took effect on 1 June 2022.



If you are looking at purchasing your first home, or have any questions about these new changes, feel free to contact Samantha Forbes or Nicole Watson in our highly experienced Property Team.  Let us do the work for you during this exciting time of becoming a first-time home buyer.