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Australian couples buying their first home are taking up to eight years to save for a deposit as rising property prices and low wage growth make saving a struggle.
The time taken for young couples to gather a house deposit has increased by 11 months on last year as living costs increase and interest rates stay low, the Domain First Home Buyer Report found.
Those saving for a unit deposit were taking an extra three months.
First home buying couples looking for houses in Sydney faced the longest wait.
They were taking eight years and one month to meet the study criteria of a 20 per cent deposit on an entry-level home. This was 18 months longer compared to the previous year’s report.
The same lengthy increase applied to those in Canberra. ACT couples were taking seven years and one month to enter the housing market.
The wait was next longest in Melbourne, six years and six months. Hobart was five years and 10 months. Buying in Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin took about four years, while Perth took about three years.
For regional towns combined, couples took three years and four months to fund a deposit. This was a four month increase on last year.
Domain chief of research and economics Nicola Powell said first home buyers were facing a growing financial hurdle.
Saving for a deposit was being made more difficult by rising living costs, low wage growth, weak saving rates and rising property prices, she said.
First home buyers were trying to overcome this by looking further afield.
More couples were using remote working to live further from their employer, according to Domain.
Ms Powell encouraged first home buyers to consider government support such as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and the First Home Super Saver Scheme.
The report methodology was based on Bureau of Statistics data for properties and incomes of people aged 25 to 34.
The report also assumes two incomes, and each person saving 20 per cent of their post-tax income each month.
(Australian Associated Press)