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KiwiSaver and Your First Home

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Apart from retirement, the other main reason you can apply to withdraw from your KiwiSaver is to help purchase your first home. This article explores how First Home Withdrawals work and what you need to know.

 

Who can apply to withdraw?

 

FIRST HOME BUYERS
  • You have never owned a property in your name before
  • You have been a MEMBER of KiwiSaver for at least 3 years (not necessarily contributing all that time)
  • You intend to live in the property being purchased (it cannot be a rental)
  • It can be in joint names, and the joint purchaser may also be able to withdraw from their KiwiSaver
SECOND CHANCE WITHDRAWAL
  • Cannot have received the KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal before
  • You have previously owned a home, but at the time of your application NO LONGER have an interest in a property in your name
  • You must have a deposit / realisable assets of less than 20% of the house price cap for the area based on caps for existing properties (see below)
  • You have been a MEMBER of KiwiSaver for at least 3 years (not necessarily contributing all that time)

 

HOUSE PRICE CAPS (for second chance withdrawals)

$600,000 in Auckland and Queenstown Lakes District ($650,000 for new builds);

$500,000 in Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Tasman District, Nelson City, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District ($550,000 for new builds);

$400,000 in all other parts of the country ($500,000 for new builds)

 

How much can I withdraw?

 

If you are eligible, then you can withdraw as much as you want to, as long as you leave $1,000 in your KiwiSaver after the withdrawal.

TOP TIP – if you have a Booster KiwiSaver, then you can download a First Home Entitlement letter after logging into your KiwiSaver via the website. This will tell you what you’re eligible to withdraw and can be used to show your lender evidence of deposit. You can also request this from us at any time.

 

How can I get the money?

 

FIRST HOME BUYERS
  • Request an application form, or download one from the website here.
  • Complete and return all of the required information to us. You need to have your solicitor fill in parts of the form.
  • Allow at least 10 working days for this to be processed
  • If your offer is unconditional, then your KiwiSaver withdrawal goes to your Solicitor on the Settlement Date
  • If your offer is conditional, then you can apply to have the money sent to your Solicitor in order to pay the deposit, or at Settlement
SECOND CHANCE WITHDRAWAL

To find out if:

  • you qualify as a previous home owner and to obtain your eligibility letter; or
  • you are eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant (which is administered by Housing New Zealand) contact Housing New Zealand on 0508 935 266 or visit hnzc.co.nz.
  • If you are eligible and receive confirmation from them, then you can complete the above process.

 

Am I entitled to anything else?

 

Maybe….

HOME START GRANT
  • You may be eligible after three years of regularly contributing to KiwiSaver (not just membership)
  • If you are purchasing an existing/older home, the grant is $1,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme (up to 5 years, max $5,000)
  • If you are purchasing a new home*, the grant is $2,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme (up to 5 years, max $10,000)
  • These amounts are PER PERSON
  • Earned before tax income of $85,000 or less in the last 12 months. If there are two or more buyers, the combined before tax income has to be $130,000 or less

* a new home or property bought off the plans OR land to build a new home on.

 

SECOND-CHANCE HOME START GRANT
  • Realisable assets have to be less than 20% of the house price cap for the area for existing properties.
PRE-APPROVAL (for Homestart Grant)
  • You can apply for pre-approval prior to finding a property. This can help speed up the process and is valid for 180 days once granted.
  • Applications can be made through Housing New Zealand at hnzc.co.nz.

 

 

KiwiSaver investment options if I’m buying a house

 

  • If you know you are going to be applying to withdraw from your KiwiSaver in order to buy a house, then it is a good idea to review the risk you are taking with your money in the run up to this.
  • Likewise, after you have made the withdrawal, your money is likely to be tied up until you are 65. You should therefore review the risk you are taking again so ensure you are making the most of your KiwiSaver.