First home buy­ers re­ceive bonus

South Waikato News - - PROPERTY -

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.

Photo: SUN­DAY STAR TIMES

BUY­ING A HOME: Made easy.

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