How do you use KiwiSaver to purchase a house?

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For first home buyers a KiwiSaver withdrawal can be a kick start to saving enough money for your mortgage deposit.  But who can withdraw money from KiwiSaver, and how do you go about doing it?  Below, we answer your frequently asked questions.

When can I withdraw money from KiwiSaver to purchase a house?
You may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings to help buy your home if:

You are purchasing your first home;
You have been a member of KiwiSaver for a minimum of three years; and
Your KiwiSaver provider allows saving withdrawals to do this.

We recommend that you contact your KiwiSaver provider and check their policies on withdrawals for first homes.

If you are eligible to withdraw money from your KiwiSaver, you may also be eligible for a first home deposit subsidy of up to $5,000.00, from Housing New Zealand.

How much of my KiwiSaver can I withdraw?
You may be able to withdraw all of the contributions you have made, your employer contributions, and all of the interest earned on your money.

You are not able to withdraw Government contributions to help purchase your first home. This includes the $1,000.00 paid to you by the Government when you first started KiwiSaver.

Can I use my KiwiSaver as a deposit to buy my house?
The deposit we are talking about here is the amount required to be paid to a vendor when you buy a house. Unfortunately, KiwiSaver cannot be used to pay this.

Any KiwiSaver money that is used to help purchase a house is given to your solicitor on the settlement date.

Can I use my KiwiSaver as a mortgage deposit (20% bank deposit)?
Yes.

Can I use my KiwiSaver to build a new house on my land?
No, a KiwiSaver withdrawal cannot be used to help pay for the cost of building a new home. However, you can use KiwiSaver to purchase the bare land where you want to build.

Can I purchase my house in a trust and still use my KiwiSaver money?
Some KiwiSaver providers will allow you to purchase your first home in a trust if you are a trustee of the trust.  The trustees will need to be listed on the agreement so the trust would need to be set up before you made an offer on a house.

If you do want to purchase your first home in a trust, this will affect your eligibility for the Housing New Zealand deposit subsidy.

Can I use my KiwiSaver to buy a house with my spouse/partner?
If your spouse/partner has previously owned a home, only you can withdraw from your KiwiSaver to purchase a house – if it is your first home (unless the special exemptions apply).

If both you and your spouse/partner are first home buyers, you can both apply to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds.

If one of you is contributing more money, we suggest having an agreement that protects this person’s KiwiSaver money if the relationship breaks down and/or if the property is sold for any reason.

How do I apply to use my Kiwisaver?
You should contact your KiwiSaver provider to get a pre-approval application form. 

What is the process involved in using my Kiwisaver to help purchase my first home?
Once you have an unconditional agreement to buy your first home, your lawyer will need to write to your KiwiSaver provider.  Your KiwiSaver provider will require copies of photo ID, proof of address, etc which have been witnessed by a lawyer. 

Most KiwiSaver providers require at least 2 weeks from receiving your lawyer’s letter to process an application, so any settlement date for the purchase of your home will need to be at least 2 weeks from the date all conditions of your agreement are satisfied.

Then, on the settlement date, your KiwiSaver provider will send your KiwiSaver money directly to your lawyer.


If you would like to discuss using KiwiSaver towards your first home purchase or any matters related to buying and selling residential property, please contact Fiona Taylor on 837 6885 or at fiona.taylor@smithpartners.co.nz