KiwiSaver – help for First Home Buyers

 

High property prices and strict bank lending criteria make it difficult for Kiwis to enter the property market. The good news is that KiwiSaver is providing real and accessible assistance to first home buyers.

I admit I was a skeptic at first, but over the last  month I have had several clients who with the assistance of KiwiSaver have been able to purchase their first home. Its still early days, KiwiSaver has only been around for just over 3 years so moving forward I am sure many more will be able to reap the benefits of having joined the scheme.

There are tow forms of assistance available to first home buyers:

1. KiwiSaver First Home Deposit Subsidy

The Government is offering a deposit subsidy to first home buyers with KiwiSaver purchasing a property. This is a once off payment made to your solicitor on settlement day to go towards the purchase – the best part is it is not a loan and does not have to be paid back!

Your entitlement depends on the length of time you have been with KiwiSaver:

– 3 years of contributing = $3,000 (the minimum you can get)

– 4 years of contributing = $4,000

– 5 years of contributing = $5,000 (the maximum you can get)

There are some conditions, for example your combined annual income should not be more than $100,000 or $140,00 if there are 3 buyers, also the maximum value of the property should not be more than $400,000 in Auckland City, Wellington and Queenstown and $300,000 for the rest of the country and you should have been making at least the minimum contribution for 3 years.

If you buying as are a couple it is possible that you could both qualify and get up to $10,000.00 towards your deposit if you have both had KiwiSaver for at least 5 years!

2. KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal

First Home buyers could be eligible to withdraw the following:

– Your KiwiSaver contributions

– Your employer contributions

– Interest earned on the above

– You can not withdraw the government contributions

To find out if you are eligible contact your KiwiSaver provider.

In practice this means that if you earn $40,000 per annum and have been contributing 4% towards kiwiSaver with this contribution matched by your employer you would be saving $3200 per annum, over 4 years this would add up to $12,800 plus interest. Add to this your $4000 deposit subsidy and you have over $16,800 as a deposit to put towards your first home! Again, if you partner is also with kiwiSaver they too may be eligible for this, based on similar income calculations your total combined deposit could be $33,600.00!

Find out more:

Housing New Zealand – Buy Your First Home with KiwiSaver

KiwiSaver – Buying Your First Home

Important:

If you are looking at using the KiwiSaver First Home deposit subsidy or KiwiSsaver first Home withdrawal you should find out if you are eligible by  applying for pre-approval prior to entering into a contract to purchase a house.

Also be aware that it can take up to 4 weeks to process the drawdown from the time your purchase contract goes unconditional – so make sure that when you complete your sale and purchase agreement you allow at least 4 weeks between unconditional and settlement dates.

Remember to always consult you lawyer before entering into an Agreement for Sale and Purchase. They will advise what conditions you should include and give you general advice about the purchasing process.

Thada Chapman, Conveyancing Lawyer

Conveyancing Shop Lawyers Limited

www.conveyancingshop.co.nz

Tel: + 64 9 638 6969