The real cost of a deposit for a first home
The deposit needed by a first home buyer in Auckland would be enough to secure you two entry-level properties in Christchurch, new figures show.
Council figures studied by real estate data analysts Homes.co.nz show the average deposit required by a first-time buyer in central Auckland is $179,125 compared with $73,700 in Christchurch.
The deposit figures are for homes in the lower quartile of the market, a more realistic first purchase than the now $1.19 million average Auckland home.
The data breaks down the 20 percent deposit required by area and the change in deposit over time.
Jeremy O'Hanlon from Homes.co.nz says the interactive data aims to give first home buyers more information about what is out there.
"We've literally broken it down to how more each month you will need to save if you want to buy a house in two years."
The 2014 average national income was around $45,000 per year. Even if you managed to save every penny, putting a deposit on a property in Auckland central would take four years.
A KiwiSaver HomeStart grant will go a small way to helping first home buyers with a contribution of up to $5000 per person depending on circumstances.
That would go much further in Christchurch than in Auckland - in the garden city, the average deposit has increased by almost $6000 over the past 12 months.
"It's still expensive, you are still talking a lot of money to get in there but compared to the likes of Auckland central, you'd save yourself $100,000," Mr O'Hanlon says.
Deposits across Auckland vary, with an average of $122,000 required for an entry-level home in the southern or eastern suburbs. That's almost $40,000 less than a deposit on a central city property, however it is the far-reaching suburbs which have increased the most in the last year.
"Things seem to be cooling in the first home buyer space which is great news, but in terms of the last 12 months you're [still] talking a $13,000 increase," Mr O'Hanlon says.
Mr O'Hanlon believes now is as good a time as any to buy.
"We've highlighted the difficulty in trying to keep up with the housing market so if you need to wait another year before you can buy a house, chances are you are going to be looking at another $13,000 for the same thing. It's a tough gig."