Auckland Tops the List of Most Challenging Places to Save a 20% Deposit

According to's latest Home Loan Affordability Report, it seems that for potential first home buyers saving for a 20% deposit, home ownership just got a little further out of reach. Depending on where you live in New Zealand, the study found it can take anywhere between two years and seven years to save for a 20% deposit. The figures are particularly disheartening for those living in Auckland, who topped the list at an average of 7.3 years. The Home Loan Affordability Reports track the median take home pay of couples aged 25-29 in each region who were both working full time. They then estimated how much money they could potentially save if they put aside 20% of their take home pay each week, and also the interest they would earn on their savings if it was deposited into a 90 day term deposit account. Then, based on the REINZ’s lower quartile selling price in each region, it discovered how long it would take to save a 20% deposit. Residents of areas like Southland (2 years), Manawatu and Whanganui (2.2 years each) fared the best in the study, requiring just over two years to pull their deposit together. At the other end of the spectrum, Auckland was far and away the longest time period at 7.3 years, with the closest rival being Bay of Plenty at 4.8 years, Nelson and Marlborough at 4.4 years and Northland at 4.2 years. Wellington is sitting at the middle of the time frame, with the average resident taking 4.1 years to save their 20% deposit. While it can be disheartening to discover it may take up to seven years to save a deposit, there are ways to quicken the process up. Easy wins like scrimping and saving are obvious, but it’s also a good idea to consult a mortgage adviser or financial adviser to learn more about schemes like KiwiSaver or if you’re eligible for a loan that only requires a 10% deposit, like the Welcome Home Loan program that is administered by Housing New Zealand.