How Much Deposit Do You Need To Buy A House In NZ?
First-home buyers face many financial hurdles. The biggest being their deposit. So, how much do you need? Let’s find out.
Posted November 2022
If you're looking at buying a house in New Zealand, you'll no doubt have your finger on the pulse. The market has changed, and house prices are on a gradual decline. This is music to the ears of first-home buyers. Your dreams of owning a home could be made into a reality.
That said, houses aren't cheap. This will likely be the largest purchase you'll ever make in your life. It's good to seek all the advice you can get, especially when it comes to your finances.
Understanding what banks and other financial institutions require to secure a mortgage can be confusing. They look at several factors to assess your ability to service a mortgage. Your deposit is up there with the most important factor of all.
So, how much do you need? Well, it depends. There is not a one-amount-fits-all solution.
That’s why today we’re looking at what an ideal deposit means and how to obtain it.
What is the minimum deposit I need?
Most banks require a deposit of 20% of the total property price. In a perfect world, every first-home buyer would have 20% in their savings, ready to hand over to their bank.
This is not a perfect world.
The national average house price sits just below $1 million (August 2022). That's right, to purchase an average-priced home in New Zealand, you may need $200,000 in the bank.
Saving $200,000 is no easy feat, especially in the current economic climate. If you're still unable to pull together a 20% deposit after exhausting all avenues, don't give up! We have a solution!
I don't have a 20% deposit. Can I still buy a home?
If you’re struggling to save a 20% deposit, don’t fret. You may qualify for a First Home Loan,*supported by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.
A First Home Loan is designed to make getting your foot in the door even easier, from as little as 5% deposit. Unity is proud to be a First Home Loan lender. To find out if you’re eligible for a First Home Loan, visit the Kāinga Ora website.
How can I grow my deposit?
There are several ways to significantly boost your deposit. Let's look at your options:
If you have been a member of KiwiSaver for more than three years, you may be eligible to withdraw your funds to purchase a first home. You must intend to use the house as your principal place of residence. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can withdraw all but $1,000 of your total KiwiSaver balance.
You will need to contact your KiwiSaver provider to apply to withdraw funds.
First Home Grant
The First Home Grant offers $5,000 for an existing home purchase and $10,000 for new builds. To be eligible for the grant, you must meet certain criteria such as a 5% deposit towards the cost of the house. This can come from your savings, gifted funds, or your KiwiSaver.
Many Kiwis’ turn to the bank of Mum and Dad to build a deposit for their first home. However, your bank may not accept a fully gifted deposit. Most banks will want to see that you have at least 5% of the total property price in savings. Gifting is a great way to build your deposit. After all, every bit helps. You'll need your gifter to sign a declaration as evidence that these funds do not need to be paid back.
How can I make my deposit go further?
Looking for a more affordable home will make your deposit go further. Easier said than done? Not if you're prepared to think outside the box. Here's what you can do.
Kiwi Build is a property development initiative that aims to provide more affordable homes to first-home buyers. KiwiBuild sets regional price caps to limit what each home can be sold for. You can be the first to discover new KiwiBuild properties when you subscribe to their database.
Purchase in another region
The national average is high, but house prices differ greatly region by region. If you live in regions such as Auckland, Tauranga and Queenstown, you're looking at some of the highest property prices in the country. Consider purchasing a property in a more affordable region or on the outskirts of your city. While you may need to commute a little further, you'll get much more bang for your buck.
How much should I borrow?
How much you can borrow and how much you should borrow are two very different things. It's important to understand how much you can afford to repay. As a rule of thumb, your mortgage repayments should be around 30-40% of your gross income.
Use our simple online calculator to work out how much you can afford to repay. Based on your deposit and interest rate, we'll work out what your weekly repayments will be. You'll have your home loan for up to 25 years, so you need to be comfortable with your repayments!
Owning a home is within reach. Go for it!
Where there's a will, there's a way. We're here to help you get your foot in the door!
Let us help you make your dreams of owning a home a reality. With our low-interest home loans and ongoing support, you could be on the property ladder much sooner than you think.
Here at Unity, we make it fast and fuss-free to secure home loan approval. Enquire today and we'll give you a call to discuss your options for purchasing your first home. We're here to help, so let's get started!
*Special eligibility and lending criteria apply for First Home Loans. T&Cs, a $350 approval fee + a one-off lenders mortgage insurance premium of 0.5% of total amount borrowed will apply. View rates, fees and T&C’s here.
This material is for information purposes only. We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team, please call 0800 229 943, or for more information about Unity’s financial advice services, read our Financial Advice Disclosure Statement at unitymoney.co.nz/about-us/legal-ts-and-cs/