First home buyer's dream seems impossible as financial survey finds it takes almost 12 years to save for deposit

It's a daily ritual for Madeleine Smith, doom scrolling through the Trade Me homes she just can't afford.

"There have been ups and downs around. I just decided I have to stop looking because it's so unreachable," Smith says.

Madeleine, 29 and her partner Gareth, 30, are both in marketing jobs but they feel that time is already running out on their Kiwi dream.

"We've been watching what the market is doing and it just seems impossible," Madeleine says.

The couple scrimps to save around $1000 a fortnight - but it's not enough.

"I'm still very fortunate in my life and I'm trying to think that your happiness shouldn't ride on owning a bit of land," she says.

They're not alone, CoreLogic's latest survey shows the average house in Auckland costs 10 times more than the average yearly household income.

"According to the measures that we track we're seeing affordability at the worst it's ever been," head of research at CoreLogic Nick Goodall says.

"It's 11.7 years now to save for a deposit which just shows how much those prices have increased over the past few years. It's the worst we've ever seen it and incomes just can't keep up with those property prices."

Madeleine's only just paid off that student loan but the next goal is years away.

For those with mortgages, paying it off will cost half what they earn and rent is chewing up nearly a quarter of incomes for anyone saving up. 

In fact, there's little good news for first-time buyers in this survey.

"My partner and I would love to get married and have kids one day but also own a home - all of that trifecta is not going to happen if things continue the way they are," Madeleine says.

Goodall says homebuyers are still finding a way, often through the bank of mum and dad and if it's any consolation he reckons it's as bad as it's ever going to be.

"And the hope has to be that our ramp-up in supply starts to affect the market," Goodall says.  "We do start to see people adjust their expectations and the people still stay in work and things shouldn't get any worse in the future so fingers crossed for those people trying to get in the market at the moment."

But Goodall says it's going to be a slow grind for prices to slip with the toxic mix of rampant inflation, flat wages, low unemployment and rising mortgage rates.