With house prices in Auckland at record-high levels, saving for your first home is more challenging than ever. The good news is that, if you’ve been contributing to KiwiSaver, you can use those funds to help you meet the deposit requirements.
To gain access to your KiwiSaver funds for a first home deposit, there are some conditions you need to meet:
- You need to have contributed a minimum of three percent of your salary to your KiwiSaver account for at least three years.
- You must put the money towards buying your first home, not a subsequent home or investment property.
- You must leave a minimum of $1000 in your KiwiSaver account.
- You must have a minimum deposit of ten percent (including the KiwiSaver funds).
To withdraw your funds, you’ll need to contact your KiwiSaver provider. You can make your withdrawal at the time you pay the initial deposit on your home, or at the date of settlement.
KiwiSaver account holders may also be eligible for the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant offered by Housing New Zealand. To qualify for a HomeStart grant, you will need to be:
- At least 18 years old
- Purchasing or building your first home (some exceptions apply – refer to your financial adviser or Housing New Zealand)
- A KiwiSaver account holder for at least three years, contributing the minimum required amount
- Earning less than $85,000 per year (one person) or $130,000 combined per year (more than one person)
- Able to raise a deposit of at least 10% of the home’s purchase price (including the grant)
- Buying a house in Auckland for a maximum of $600,000 (existing dwelling) or $650,000 (new dwelling) – the price cap differs by region
- Intending to live in the house for at least six months from the settlement date.
Depending on how long you’ve been contributing to your KiwiSaver account, you could be eligible for a grant of between $3,000 and $5,000 (for an existing home) or $6,000 and $10,000 (for a new home). The grants are calculated at $1000 (or $2000 for new buildings) per year of membership, to a maximum of five years. If you’re a couple buying your first home together and you both meet the eligibility criteria, you may be able to combine your grants.
At Best Mortgages, we can help you work out if your KiwiSaver account can help you buy your first home. Contact us today