Huge rise in KiwiSaver first-home withdrawals

by Krizzel Canlas12 Jun 2018

KiwiSaver is becoming an increasingly important tool for first-home buyers, with the number of members making a first-home withdrawal increasing almost five-fold over the past six years.

According to ANZ Bank New Zealand, 9,876 of its members made a first home withdrawal from their KiwiSaver accounts for the year ended in September, up from 2,164 withdrawals in 2012.

ANZ Wealth managing director Craig Mulholland said the overall number of ANZ’s KiwiSaver members has increased, but there has nonetheless been a large increase in the number of people making a first-home withdrawal.

“At the same time, the average amount of money withdrawn by our members for a first home is $20,000,” Mulholland noted. “That is double the average withdrawal in 2012.”

For the first eight months of this financial year there were 7320 withdrawals, averaging $22,339. More than 40% of New Zealand first-home buyers used their KiwiSaver money to help with their purchase last year.

Mulholland said ANZ expects withdrawals to increase as KiwiSaver balances increase.

“A young person who starts contributing regularly to KiwiSaver from the time they start their first job is likely to have built up a tidy sum by the time they reach the typical home buying age of 35,” he said. “They will have had the benefit of a decade of contributions from themselves and their employers, as well as investment returns.”

However, while KiwiSaver was a good help to first-home buyers, Mulholland noted it is also important that members continue making contributions to KiwiSaver after a first-home withdrawal.

“This will ensure that saving for a comfortable retirement and owning your own home work hand -in -hand,” he said.

 

Related stories:
First home buyers have 'dominated' mortgage lending market for five years
Low-interest rates and easing LVRs fuel residential demand

 

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