2 Nov 2012

More people using KiwiSaver money to buy house

6:33 am on 2 November 2012

There has been a big surge in the numbers dipping into their KiwiSaver accounts to buy a house.

People who have been in the scheme for three years can withdraw from their accounts to buy their first home and at the same time qualify for a one-off subsidy of up to $5000.

Those who joined KiwiSaver when it was launched in July 2007 became eligible for these benefits in mid-2010.

Since then, almost 5000 people have applied to use their KiwiSaver money and the accompanying subsidy.

Inland Revenue's latest KiwiSaver annual report shows most applying to withdraw money to buy a house lived in Auckland.

A quarter of the applications came in the first three months of this year, the latest period the department has records for.

Auckland-based mortgage broker Christine Lockie says many of her clients using KiwiSaver money for deposits would not have been able to scrape together enough money without it.