First home buyers receive bonus
BUYING a first home has been made a little bit easier for close to 2000 Kiwisaver members who have received government subsidies of between $3000 and $4000 each.
But others are missing out because they or their agents do not fully understand the process.
People who have been in Kiwisaver for three years can apply for a first-home subsidy of $1000 for every year they have been contributing, up to a maximum of $5000.
The first Kiwisavers became eligible just over a year ago.
Since then, Housing New Zealand has received more than 3000 applications. Figures as at the end of September show 1623 applications have been approved. Another 417 were pre-approved for people who were not yet buying a property but wanted to know if they were eligible. Of the pre-approvals, 197 expired before the applicants used them. (Preapprovals last for 90 days.)
Most of the successful applicants – approximately 90 per cent – received $3000, while the rest received $4000.
As well as subsidies, Kiwisaver allows first-home buyers who have been in the scheme three years to apply to their scheme providers to withdraw their contributions, and their employer’s contributions.
Government contributions cannot be touched.
Workplace Savings New Zealand executive director Bruce Kerr said some people had been missing out because they did not know they had to apply before settlement.
To be eligible for a subsidy you must have contributed at least 2 per cent of your income to a Kiwisaver scheme for at least three years and plan to live in the house for at least six months.
A couple buying a house together can both qualify for a subsidy and receive up to $10,000 between them.
They must earn $100,000 or less between them. The house must cost no more than $300,000, or $400,000 in Auckland city, Wellington city and Queenstown Lakes.
People can apply to withdraw money even if they don’t qualify for a subsidy, as long as they have been in the scheme three years.
BUYING A HOME: Made easy.