First home buyer survey reveals surprising results

Saving for a house deposit has become easier in almost every capital city during the past five years – with two notable exceptions.

First home buyers who live in the capitals needed an average of 4.4 years to save for a house deposit as at June 2014, according to a Bankwest survey. That compares to 4.1 years as at June 2009.

The figures suggest that the housing market across Australia has increasingly favoured sellers over the past five years. However, the data has been heavily skewed by Sydney and Melbourne.

Sydney residents needed 4.9 years to save for a house deposit in 2009 compared to 6.7 years in 2014, while Melbourne rose from 4.5 years to 5.5 years.

If Australia’s two biggest cities are removed from the results, the time taken to save for a house deposit in the other six capitals fell from 3.92 years in 2009 to 3.85 years in 2014.

Saving became easier in four of those capitals: Hobart fell from 3.7 to 3.3 years, Brisbane from 4.2 to 4.1 years, Perth from 4.0 to 3.9 years and Adelaide 3.7 to 3.6 years.

First home buyers in the other two capitals needed longer to save their house deposit, with Canberra increasing from 3.8 to 4.0 years and Darwin from 4.1 to 4.2 years.

Bankwest’s head of specialist banking, Ian Rakhit, said there is still affordable housing available across Australia.

“Many first home buyers are starting to look further afield – for some, the more affordable housing offered by regional local government areas makes them a more attractive alternative compared to capital cities,” he said.

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