How to use your Kiwisaver to buy a house

By Josie Houston

One of the most common ways that Kiwisaver is used is for a first home purchase.

To be able to use your Kiwisaver toward your first home purchase, you need to have the following conditions met:

  • You need to have contributed to your kiwisaver for at least three years;
  • You are buying property or land in New Zealand;
  • You haven’t made a first home withdrawal before;
  • You intend to live on the home or land (Keeping in mind, your Kiwisaver can only go toward the land purchase, and not the build);
  • You haven’t owned a home or land before (in both New Zealand and overseas) However, previous homeowners may still be eligible. Kainga Ora can determine if you may still be eligible – all the information can be found on their website; and
  • You must live in your newly purchased home for at least six months.

How much can you withdraw?

You can apply for all of your Kiwisaver funds to go toward your first home purchase – you just need to leave $1,000.00 in your account.

There are also some exceptions if you have ever lived in Australia or overseas. You will find that information on your Kiwisaver providers website.

What’s the typical withdrawal process?

Firstly, make sure you are eligible and you meet the conditions listed above. You then need to go to your Kiwisaver providers website and there will be forms available for you to complete. Typically, your lawyer will then send off your signed forms along with the signed sale and purchase agreement, your certified ID, proof of address and IRD number.

Each Kiwisaver provider process is slightly different in regards to timeframes so we recommend researching and preparing in advance for what you might need to do for this.

If you intend on using your Kiwisaver to go toward the ‘purchase deposit’ you may need to alter the sale and purchase agreement to reflect this as it can take up to and over 15 working days depending on your situation to have your funds transferred. You want the agreement to state that the deposit is payable upon going unconditional, not on signing the agreement and that the funds will be paid to your lawyers trust account.

If you require assistance regarding using your Kiwisaver toward your first home purchase, please get in contact with the property team at Queen City Law:

We have taken care to ensure that the information given is accurate, however it is intended for general guidance only and it should not be relied upon in individual cases. Professional advice should always be sought before any decision or action is taken.