Buying guide

Can I buy a house with no deposit?

No deposit saved? No worries. In some cases it’s possible to buy a house without one.

Last updated: 27 May 2024

Saving a deposit to buy a home in New Zealand may seem near impossible, and it’s no wonder. The national average asking price for a property here is $860,750 (as of October 2023 according to Trademe data. That means a 20% deposit on the average Kiwi home is more than $180,000.

Luckily, for some it may be possible to buy a home in NZ with no deposit, or at least a very small one. Here are your options.

Apply for a low deposit loan

In most cases, lenders require at least a 20% deposit to accept your home loan application. But some lenders offer low deposit loans to first home buyers, with as little as 5% deposit required. Others offer Kāinga Ora backed First Home Loans, which also only require a 5% deposit. To qualify you’ll need to have:

  • A decent income from a good, steady job.
  • A perfect or near perfect credit score.
  • Proof that you can service the loan and/or evidence that you spend less than you earn.

Unfortunately, there’s a catch to these types of loans. Lenders may charge higher interest rates, or one-off fees to cover themselves against the risk of you defaulting on your loan. Keep in mind that these fees may cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars more than if you were to secure a home loan with a 20% deposit.

Read more about Government first home loan schemes here.

If you don't have a big deposit saved it may still be possible to buy a home.

Withdraw your Kiwisaver

If you’re eligible, you can also withdraw from your Kiwisaver as long as you leave a minimum balance of $1,000. You can do this as well as applying for a First Home Loan.

Tap the bank of mum and dad

If you have no deposit, but you’re lucky enough to have parents who are both willing and able to help you buy a home, your parents could help by acting as a co-borrower or a guarantor on your loan and using their own home as security.

By doing this, you may be able to buy a home in NZ with no deposit. Keep in mind, this decision shouldn’t be made lightly. Your parents will be jointly responsible for your loan and if you should default they’ll be liable for your payments and could lose their home.

Speak to a mortgage broker

If your situation falls outside of the norm, banks may be hesitant to lend to you. Mortgage brokers, on the other hand, are experts when it comes to finding funding for homebuyers who don’t fit the mold - like those with no or low deposits.

Talking to a mortgage broker is a great way to get clear advice on your situation and find out if you can buy a home right now, and if not - what needs to be done before you can.

*We hope this article has provided some helpful information. It's based on our experience and is not intended as a complete guide. Of course, it doesn’t consider your individual needs or situation. If you’re considering buying a property, make sure to always do your due diligence, and speak with an advisor if necessary.


Ben Tutty
Ben Tutty

Ben Tutty is a regular contributor for Trade Me and he's also contributed to Stuff and the Informed Investor. He's got 10+ years experience as both a journalist and website copywriter, specialising in real estate, finance and tourism. Ben lives in Wānaka with his partner and his best mate (Finnegan the whippet).