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Don't all wait for KiwiSaver scheme to buy home

For immediate release
From Professionals Real Estate Group - Auckland/Northland Region

June 28, 2005

Don't all wait for KiwiSaver scheme to buy first home

First-home buyers are likely to be better off buying a property now rather than waiting five years in the hope of cashing in on the government's KiwiSaver scheme, say Professionals real estate agents.

The KiwiSaver scheme, announced in the 2005 Budget, is designed to encourage New Zealanders to save for their retirement and help them purchase their first home. Inland Revenue will manage the scheme, which is due to start on April 1 2007.

Investors in the KiwiSaver scheme will make contributions from their wages or salary to a private fund provider in order to save for their retirement. However, after three years - in 2010 at the earliest - they can make a one-off withdrawal and receive a subsidy of between $3000 and $5000 to buy their first home.

Alan Sandrey, of The Professionals Shore City Property Ltd, says the KiwiSaver scheme is not relevant to today's buyers because the benefits of the scheme will not be accessible until too far into the future.

"It's always going to pay first-home buyers to buy if they can afford to service the debt. It would take a clever person to predict where the real estate market will be in several years. By 2010, it's probable the market will have corrected and be going up again."

Shore City Property Ltd has offices in Browns Bay and Mairangi Bay where homes are among the most expensive on the North Shore. Mr Sandrey says ordinary three-bedroom homes sell for $380,000 to $420,000 and are sought after by first-home buyers who want to be near their parents and live where they grew up.

Jean Johnson, of Professionals Jean Johnson Realty Ltd in Dargaville, believes if first home buyers can afford to buy now they should do so because both the market and their circumstances are likely to change.

"Once the KiwiSaver scheme is up and running it will be great for first home buyers, but it's too far into the future to be considered today. If people can afford to buy, they should rely on the market information that's available right now and get into the real estate market."

She says property prices are still reasonably low in Kaipara. First-home buyers in Dargaville could expect to pay from $98,000 to $140,000 for a three-bedroom home that may need some basic work such as minor repairs and painting.


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