The Welcome Home Loan and HomeStart grant will now only require a five per cent deposit under KiwiBuild reset changes.
The Government-backed supports - available for all first-home buyers, not just KiwiBuild buyers - have seen major changes as part of the reset.
Currently the Welcome Home Loan allows first home buyers under an income cap of $85,000 (or $130,000 for a couple) to receive a Government-backed loan with a 10 per cent deposit, if buying properties priced under a certain cap. (All KiwiBuild homes fall under the cap).
The HomeStart grant currently gives first-home buyers a $10,000 grant to help with their deposit on a first home under similar income caps and price caps, if the buyers have been with KiwiSaver for five years.
Housing Minister Megan Woods announced that both policies will now allow first home buyers to buy houses with a deposit of just five per cent instead of 10 per cent.
Both policies have also been renamed as the "First Home Loan" and "First Home Grant".
- KiwiBuild reset: 100,000 home target scrapped, $400m progressive ownership introduced
- Interest rate cap, regulation of truck shops coming as part of Govt crackdown
The cap on house prices for groups of buyers of three or more receiving the grant has also been removed, so that groups of buyers can pool their $10,000 deposits for a home of any price.
"Building significant numbers of affordable homes is a long-term challenge that will take time, but we can set up new home ownership models and reduce deposit requirements now to make it easier for people to get into their first home," Woods said.
The changes will open the Government up to more exposure in the housing market and possibly drive prices even higher as more first home buyers are able to buy.
The shifts come as part of a wider reset of the KiwiBuild policy which has seen the Government scrap the "overly ambitious" 100,000 house target.