Thinking about buying a house in Canberra in the next few years? You might want to start saving now.
New research suggests it could take the average first time buyers more than four years to stockpile enough for a house deposit in more than two-thirds of Canberra suburbs.
The outlook is bleakest in South Canberra, where the Bankwest First Time Buyer Deposit Report projected it could take the standard dual income household setting aside a fifth of their combined pre-tax income annually 6.4 years to save enough for a 20 per cent deposit on the average home.
It's slightly better in North Canberra and Woden, where squirreling away the average house deposit will take you 5.3 years and 5.2 years.
In 4.1 years, you could have saved enough to buy in Tuggeranong, and in 3.9 years you could be living the great Australian dream in Weston Creek.
The fastest place to buy is in Belconnen, where it would take you 3.8 years to save up the average $99,500 deposit.
But Bankwest's executive general manager of retail, Andrew Whitechurch, said Canberrans should be counting their blessings.
"Canberra offers much more affordable options than Sydney, where first time buyer couples now need to save for an average 7.9 years to put down a $198,700 deposit," Mr Whitechurch said.
And there is a silver lining if you're happy to downsize.
It would take the average first time buyer couple only three years to save a 20 per cent deposit to buy a unit in Canberra, below the capital city average of 3.3 years.
If you're looking to buy in Gungahlin, you could be picking up the keys in just 2.6 years – the shortest time across the city.
By comparison, it would take the same couple 5.3 years to save for a unit in Sydney.
The report found the number of first time buyers in the ACT increased by 25 per cent.
Nationally, the number of first time buyers entering the market over the past year was 101,874, down 2.6 per cent from 104,591 in the 12 months to June 2014.
The increase in first time buyers in the ACT trumped the growth in non-first time buyers, which only rose by 3.3 per cent.
The seventh annual Bankwest First Time Buyer Deposit Report tracks the time it would take first time buyers to save a deposit in 458 local government areas across Australia based on local house prices.