Finance Property Here’s how long it takes to save for a home deposit
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Here’s how long it takes to save for a home deposit

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If you’re an aspiring first homebuyer struggling to save for a deposit, we have some advice for you: get yourself a partner, move back in with your parents, and buy a house in Tasmania.

Why? Because if you’re single, on an average income, and living in an average Aussie city, it’s going to take you more than 10 years to save for a deposit.

New calculations by comparison site mozo.com.au found that it would take someone on an average income 10.8 years to save for a 20 per cent deposit.

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Hobart: the easiest capital city to buy a house in. Photo: Shutterstock
Hobart: the easiest capital city to buy a house in. Photo: Shutterstock

In Sydney, surprise, surprise, it would take even longer than that, pushing 15 years. Melbourne isn’t far behind.

The easiest city to save for a home loan, meanwhile, is Hobart, where it takes just under seven years.

All this goes to illustrate what we already know: buying your own home has never been harder.

And it’s only going to get worse. A paper by the Reserve Bank last week stated that, short of an outright recession (which no one wants) there is no way to bring house prices down.

And with capital requirements going up, it’s going to be more expensive for banks to lend. For consumers, that means it’ll be tougher to secure a home loan, and probably more expensive to service it.


George Lekakis on how the new capital requirements will affect you 


But even when you’ve saved enough for a deposit, Mozo says there are other expenses to worry about, including stamp duty, legal costs, finance costs and – if your deposit is less than 20 per cent of the value of the home – lenders mortgage insurance.

Here’s a city-by-city breakdown of the exact figures, from most to least expensive.

(In case you’re interested, the figures assume a savings rate of 15 per cent of average annual income in given city. Deposits are based on 20 per cent of the average house price in each city).

Forget it.
Sydney: forget it. Photo: Shutterstock

1. Sydney

Average house price: $772,200
20 per cent deposit: $154,440
Monthly saving amount: $741
How long it will take to save: 14 years, 1 month

2. Melbourne

Average house price: $560,000
20 per cent deposit: $112,000
Monthly saving amount: $701
How long it will take to save: 11 years, 1 month

3. Darwin

Average house price: $515,000
20 per cent deposit: $103,000
Monthly saving amount: $725
How long it will take to save: 9 years, 11 months

df
Canberra: better

4. Canberra

Average house price: $535,000
20 per cent deposit: $107,000
Monthly saving amount: $825
How long it will take to save: 9 years, 2 months 

5. Perth

Average house price: $510,000
20 per cent deposit: $102,000
Monthly saving amount: $814
How long it will take to save: 8 years, 11 months

6. Brisbane

Average house price: $455,000
20 per cent deposit: $91,000
Monthly saving amount: $726
How long it will take to save: 8 years, 10 months 

Adelaide
Adelaide: better still. Photo: Shutterstock

7. Adelaide

Average house price: $405,000
20 per cent deposit: $81,000
Monthly saving amount: $679
How long it will take to save: 8 years, 5 months

8. Hobart 

Average house price: $315,000
20 per cent deposit: $63,100
Monthly saving amount: $649
How long it will take to save: 6 years, 10 months 

How do I afford this?

If you’re dying to get on the property ladder as soon as you can, Mozo director Kirsty Lamont has some simple advice.

“By doubling your monthly savings, prospective buyers could cut their savings time by four years and 11 months,” she says.

“By moving back home, the average Sydney renter could buy six years and five months sooner.”

Other tips she gives are:

• Cut back on high everyday costs like transport or rent, consider moving back home or curb your entertainment and eating out costs.

• Look for a better rate of return on your savings balance. Shop around and take advantage of bonus or intro offers.

• Consider buying a property with a family member if your circumstances allow.

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