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The peak body for real estate in Australia says the Australian Government needs to look no further than New Zealand’s ‘Kiwisaver scheme’ if it wants to see how to improve Australia’s declining home ownership.
The New Zealand Government encourages young Kiwis to contribute to voluntary superannuation via the Kiwisaver scheme, by allowing access to their resources to assist in buying a home.
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) President Peter Bushby says, “With over 82% of all Australian households holding at least some savings in their superannuation account and the average value across all households at $142,429 (HILDA Survey), some access to these sources could reverse the current trend of declining home ownership.”
In New Zealand, KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based saving initiative to help New Zealanders with their long-term saving for retirement. The initiative has two features to help many New Zealanders to get their foot in the property market:
• KiwiSaver home purchase withdrawal scheme, and
• KiwiSaver home deposit subsidy scheme.
“Both of these features can also be used to help with the overall deposit when buying land to build a first home on. Furthermore, if a person has previously owned a home but is currently in a similar financial position to a first home buyer, they may still be eligible for both features,” continued Mr Bushby.
According to New Zealander Housing Minister Nick Smith, KiwiSaver has enabled 10,733 New Zealanders to put down a deposit on their first home in the year to March. That is up from 5,737 in 2012 and 1,274 in 2011.
What do you think? Would you like the opportunity to put some of your superannuation savings toward the deposit on a home?