• Sarah O'Gorman

Proposed Change May Mean Kiwis Could Use Their KiwiSavers To Purchase Homes

A proposed change to New Zealand’s most well-known retirement scheme, KiwiSaver, may mean that Kiwis living in big cities could use their KiwiSaver funds to purchase a home elsewhere.

The proposed change has come about amidst increasing concern that residents of larger cities like Auckland and Wellington are currently unable to join the property market due to rising house prices in these densely populated urban areas.

A Māori mortgage broker brought forth the proposal to help clients looking for homes near whānau that lived in areas other than that in which the clients worked.

At the moment, New Zealand residents are only allowed to use KiwiSaver funds to purchase a home if they live in that home immediately. This presents a problem, especially for first-time homebuyers, as many people are not able to afford the prices of expensive Auckland or Wellington homes even if their jobs are located in those areas.

“If they could buy a property in a more affordable part of the country, they could use it as an investment to progress on the property ladder or simply to retire to one day,” Interim Retirement Commissioner Peter Cordtz said.

Some Kiwis may choose to buy a home for later retirement or purchase a home to raise a family there. Others may use the opportunity to buy property for investment and eventually build up enough funds to purchase a home in an urban area like Auckland or Wellington.

KiwiSaver is currently under a three-year review, with this proposal set to form part of that review. Cordtz is expected to sit down with the Government in December to make his final recommendations for the scheme.

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