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How to use KiwiSaver for your first home

Simple steps to use KiwiSaver for your first home

Planning to buy or build your first home can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time.  We explain the process clearly in a few simple steps, to keep it as stress-free as possible.
You can use your KiwiSaver in two ways to help get you into your first home:

  • First Home Withdrawal
  • Apply for a First Home grant from Housing New Zealand.

First Home Withdrawal

Step 1: Check your eligibility

  • You need to have been a KiwiSaver member for at least 3 years.
  • You can only make one first home withdrawal
  • You cannot have owned a home or a piece of land before
    (You may still be eligible if you are a previous homeowner, but in the same position as a first home buyer – e.g. matrimonial splits. Housing New Zealand determines eligibility for second-time buyers.)
  • Your home or land purchase must be in New Zealand
  • You must intend to live in the home or on the land you are buying.

Step 2: Work out how much you can withdraw

Generally, you can apply to withdraw the total amount in your KiwiSaver account, except for:

  • $1,000 Government KickStart contribution
  • Any Australian Super you have transferred

Step 3: Request a Letter of Eligibility from your KiwiSaver Provider

Contact your KiwiSaver provider and request a letter of eligibility. This can be emailed to you and will confirm your eligibility to make a first home withdrawal, as well as the estimated withdrawal amount.
There is no maximum purchase price or income requirement with KiwiSaver

Step 4: Contact us to get a Home Loan Pre-Approval

It’s a good idea to get a conditional loan pre-approval in place, so you know what your approved purchase price is when you’re looking for homes.

Step 5: Withdraw your KiwiSaver funds

It is important to apply for your first home withdrawal early when you find your home, as it can take up to15 working days to withdraw funds.

You’ll need to pay a deposit to the real estate agent when you’ve signed the Sale and Purchase Agreement for your new home, and once your finance is approved unconditionally.
You can either use your KiwiSaver as part of your deposit or as part of the purchase price payable at settlement date (the date you take ownership of the property).

Your KiwiSaver provider will give you a KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal Form. Your solicitor can help you complete this and apply for the withdrawal.

First Home Grant

If you have been regularly contributing for 3 years, you may be eligible for a First Home Grant from Housing New Zealand to help you buy your first home.

  • Existing homes – $1,000 per year up to $5,000
  • New Build – $2,000 per year up to $10,000

To be eligible for a First Home Grant, you must:

  • be over 18
  • have earned less than $85K as a single or $130K jointly in the last 12 months
  • not currently own any property
  • have been contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more
  • purchase a property that is within the regional house price caps ($650,000 in Auckland)
  • agree to live in your new house for at least 6 months.

To find out if you meet Housing New Zealand’s eligibility criteria, visit kiwisaver-firsthomegrant.co.nz