Saving for a house deposit is taking Australian couples longer than ever, according to a new Bankwest report.
The report shows Australian couples will need to save for an average 4.2 years to accumulate the almost $100,000 needed for a 20 per cent deposit on the median-priced home.
On average, they will need to save $5,900 more than they would have had to in 2014.
In Sydney, the time needed to save a deposit was nearly twice as long, at 7.9 years, despite Tuesday’s comments by the deputy Reserve Bank governor that Sydney home prices appeared to be declining.
In contrast, Hobart first home buyers needed 3.4 years and Adelaide-dwellers 3.6 years.
Bankwest’s Andrew Whitechurch said the increase in house prices was already having an effect on buyer behaviour, with the number of first-time buyers entering the market declining by 2.6 per cent in the year to June 2015.
“We can see that where first-time buyers may be struggling to enter the property market, it is exacerbated by more investors and non-first-time buyers being active in those markets,” Mr Whitechurch said.
On average, couples wanting to buy in New South Wales face the longest saving times, with those on an average wage taking 5.3 years to save a deposit of $128,100. This is up from 4.8 years in 2014.
It will take 4.4 years to save for a first home in Victoria, followed by 4.1 years in the ACT and 3.9 years in Queensland.
In the regions, the cheapest areas include Tasmania’s West Coast and the Central Darling in far west New South Wales, where it would take first time buyer couples just eight months to save a deposit.
Deposit savings times were calculated on the basis of a first-time buyer couple setting aside 20 per cent of their combined pre-tax income annually.