Kāinga Ora: First Home Partner

Our team met with Ngaroata Jason Wawatai, Stakeholder Relationship Manager, and Martha Williams, Product Manager, from Kāinga Ora this week.  Jason gave us an overview of the responsibilities of Kāinga Ora under the Home and Communities Act 2019 and a brief update on policy movements, and housing and urban development locally.

Martha shared an update on the range of products on offer from Kāinga Ora including a relatively recent product, First Home Partner, which we think is interesting and could be a great opportunity for people who are struggling to get the full deposit needed to buy their first home.

First Home Partner is a shared ownership arrangement between a first home buyer and Kāinga Ora. It can only be used to purchase brand new homes or homes off the plans.

The buyer needs a 5% deposit and must meet standard credit criteria.  There is no price cap to the property, but household income must be under $130,000 for the past year.  Important to note this is open to both individuals and families. There are other criteria which you can find on their website here.

Kāinga Ora will assist with maximum equity contribution of 25% or $200,000, whichever is lowest. The intention is for the household to purchase Kāinga Ora’s share of the property within 15 years (ideally) but at the latest 25 years.  Service fees do kick in after 15 years so there is an incentive.

Support from a bank is key. BNZ, Westpac and SBS are the banks participating in the First Home Partner initiative.

Before you jump on Trade Me or call your local real estate agent to shop for your first home, it’s important to apply for First Home Partner eligibility first.

Martha tells us applications are generally turned around in about a week.  If you are confirmed as eligible, you can then approach the bank for a pre-approved home loan. Next its about finding the property that is right for you and confirming it is eligible for the partnership arrangement.

There are conditions to the offer you make on this home including with the sale and purchase agreement. There is also a shared ownership agreement you need to sign with Kāinga Ora. We can help you with all of this, so don’t hesitate to give us a call once you receive confirmation from Kāinga Ora you’re eligible.

This is not the only home ownership tool Kāinga Ora offer. The full range is here and it is worth checking them out. You may have been hesitating about making the move but with property prices at some of their best in recent years, now may be the time.