Can I use my KiwiSaver to buy a house in Australia? Everything you need to know.

Can I use my KiwiSaver to buy a house in Australia? Everything you need to know

New Zealand citizens who have held a KiwiSaver account for at least three years can withdraw contributions (including personal, government, and employer payments) to buy their first home. But what about using your KiwiSaver to buy Australian property? Since 2015, using your KiwiSaver to buy property outside of New Zealand is no longer possible. However, NZ citizens who move to Australia could transfer their KiwiSaver into an Australian account and potentially access funds this way. Even if you cannot use your KiwiSaver to buy Australian property, it is worth remembering NZ citizens are effectively treated as Australian citizens when buying Aussie property. You may even be eligible for concessions like stamp duty exemptions and first home owner grants.

Can I use my KiwiSaver to buy a house in Australia?

Before 2015, those who held a KiwiSaver for at least three years could withdraw contributions for a house deposit, provided $1,000 remained in their accounts. However, since the 2015 HomeStart amendment to KiwiSaver - which introduced the caveat that properties need to be within New Zealand - New Zealand residents cannot use their KiwiSaver funds to buy Australian property. There is some good news for NZ citizens buying property within Australia, though. New Zealanders can transfer their KiwiSaver balances to an Australian Superannuation fund (the Aussie equivalent) and access any voluntary contributions towards a house deposit. Can NZ Citizens buy property in Australia? Read our comprehensive guide here

Using KiwiSaver to buy your first home in Australia

If you’re buying a first home in Australia, you may be able to use non-compulsory payments (funds not paid by your employer) to buy Australian property. The Australian Government’s First Home Super Saver (FHSS) allows access to voluntary superannuation funds towards a house deposit. These need to be genuine (non-employer) contributions to a maximum of $15,000 per financial year, up to a total of $50,000 across all years. So, any non-compulsory funds from your KiwiSaver can be accessed once transferred to an Australian superannuation account.

How can New Zealanders buy Australian property?

Whether buying an Australian home within the country or across the ditch, both are possible. With the right lender, you could even use the equity in your NZ home to buy Australian property. The process varies on whether you’re investing or buying as a citizen, but it generally looks like this:

  • Estimate your borrowing power to get an idea of how much you can spend
  • Search for properties
  • Compare deals for the best home loan rates
  • Submit documents and seek pre-approval
  • Make an offer and settle You may also consider the help of professionals like conveyancers, property inspectors, and buyers agents. Finding an Australian lender to work with foreign citizens can be challenging. At UNO, we work with lenders who specialise in foreign loans. They can even help you release the equity in your New Zealand home. Thinking about buying Australian property? Chat with us today

Concessions for NZ Citizens buying homes in Australia

Unlike most foreign citizens, New Zealand citizens don’t need approval from the Foreign Investor Review Board (FIRB) to purchase Australian property from New Zealand. Kiwis with permanent resident status (i.e., Subclass 461 visa) buying their first home in Australia are also eligible for First Home Owners (FHOG) grants between $10,000 to $30,000 in most states. It is also possible to qualify for stamp duty exemptions in some states, saving you around 3% in property tax if you are eligible. Read our state-by-state breakdown here. Finally, if you buy a house in the Northern Territory, there is no Foreign Transfer Duty of 7-8% unlike in other Australian states and territories.

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What our customers are saying

Gabe Windsor
October 26, 2023
What a fantastic experience using UNO Home Loans. Mike Parsons and the team were exceptional. Such an easy, hassle free experience, cannot recommend them highly enough. Mike Parsons was in touch every step of the way, and with him doing all the leg work, the transition to a refinanced home loan was a very easy one. Thank you!
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Laurisa Sticotti
July 1, 2023
Scott Wilkinson has been fantastic when dealing with my broking needs. He has held my hand through every step of the way and has made purchasing my first home a much more comfortable experience than I anticipated.
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Thusi Gamage
July 1, 2023
Awesome team, Very reliable and friendly. Scott Wilkinson is very experienced and knowledgeable.He guided us throughout the process and was available to help.
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Omar Zazou
June 1, 2023
I have worked with Scott Wilkinson to get my home loan and he has been a massive help to navigate my first home purchase. He has taken care of all the financial details and I didn't need to worry about anything. Highly recommend him for his professionalism, patience and support!
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Kelly O'Connor
June 1, 2023
You won’t find any broker better than Anita at UNO. We’ve told all our friends and family about her and will be using her for all our mortgages in the future! A stress free process from the start. She listened to our needs and was always available.
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Ashley Morson
We are truly grateful for uno home loans and our broker Karis Churchill. This is our second time purchasing a home with the help from Uno and both times have been a very positive experience. Our recent purchase had many obstacles due to different factors however it was our dream home and we were up for the challenge. Our broker Karis was a true support and went above and beyond. She communicated so well with our solicitor and the real estate agents. She kept us updated through every step and kept us motivated when things seemed impossible. Uno is very fortunate to have Karis as a broker and we would highly recommend her to anyone. Our family are so happy we are now in our new forever home. Thank you so much Karis and to the uno team!!!
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Ebubekir Demir
Thank you Eren for your quick and efficient turn around time to getting an approval for a loan. Will be recommending you to anyone that needs a quick and reliable loan.
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