Real estate market: Australian couples take eight years to buy their first home

Australian couples buying their first home take up to eight years to save for a deposit as rising house prices and weak wage growth make saving difficult.

The time it takes for young couples to put together a security deposit has increased by 11 months from a year ago as the cost of living rises and interest rates remain low, according to the Domain First Home Buyer report.

Those who saved for a unit deposit took an additional three months.

First-time homebuyer couples looking for a home in Sydney have faced the longest wait.

They were taking eight years and a month to meet the review criteria for a 20% deposit on an entry-level home. This was 18 months longer than the previous year’s report.

The same long increase applied to those in Canberra. ACT couples took seven years and one month to enter the housing market.

The wait was the second longest in Melbourne, six years and six months. Hobart was five years and 10 months old. The purchase in Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin took around four years, while Perth took around three years.

For the regional towns combined, the couples took three years and four months to fund a deposit. This is a four month increase over last year.

Head of research and economics Nicola Powell said first-time home buyers face a growing financial hurdle.

Camera iconAustralian couples take up to eight years to buy their first home, according to research by Domain. Credit: AAP

Saving for a deposit was made more difficult by the rising cost of living, weak wage growth, low savings rates and rising property prices, she said.

First-time home buyers were trying to overcome this by looking further afield.

According to Domain, more couples were using remote work to live further away from their employer.

Ms Powell encouraged first-time home buyers to consider government support such as the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

The report’s methodology was based on data from the Bureau of Statistics for the properties and incomes of people aged 25 to 34.

The report also assumes two incomes and each person saves 20% of their after-tax income each month.

Penny D. Jackson