First home buyers face a decade of saving to muster a deposit

As if house prices aren’t daunting enough, Mozo calculations show those looking to buy a property are in for a decade of squirrelling away their pennies just to afford the average deposit.

In Sydney, that timeline increases to 14 years and one month to save up the average harbour city deposit amount of $154,440. While in Hobart you’re saving for just under seven years to put down the average $63,100 deposit.

RELATED: Ease the squeeze: Three winning weapons for first home buyers

“These figures are based on saving 15% of the average salary in each state which could be hard for those saving for a shorter term goal like travel or a wedding, or paying down existing debts.”

“However, prospective buyers who are willing to forego short term gains and save twice as much, could virtually halve their saving time,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

Time required to save a 20% deposit, based on a $5,000 starting balance:

Capital City

Deposit amount

(20% of average dwelling price)

Monthly saving amount

Years to save




10 years, 8 months




14 years, 1 month




11 years, 1 month




9 years, 11 months




9 years, 2 months




8 years, 11 months




8 years, 10 months




8 years, 5 months




6 years, 10 months

Deposit amount calculated from the CoreLogic RPData Home Value Index. Saving amount is 15% of the average after-tax salary in each state. Years to save is based on the average savings account interest rate of 2.32%, with a $5,000 starting balance. As at 17/7/15.

Lamont said you could speed up the process by moving back home to save as much as possible.

“Based on the average weekly rent in Sydney, moving back home could see Sydney buyers cut six years from their saving time.”

Other tips include:

  • Start now, it’s never too early to start saving for your first home.
  • 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 by searching the savings account market and take advantage of bonus or intro offers.
  • Consider buying a property with a family member if your circumstances allow.

Mozo property expert, Steve Jovcevksi, adds that a deposit is only the beginning for new home buyers, with a raft of up-front costs to add to the bill.

“Stamp duty, legal costs and fees associated with taking out a mortgage all add up.”

“Ideally prospective buyers should save an extra 20% of their deposit amount to cover all the extras that pop-up after the sold sticker has gone up.”

Home loan comparisons on Mozo - last updated 8 December 2023

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Home Loan Awards

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