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This is the only Aussie capital you don’t need $100k to buy a home

·3-min read
This city offers the lowest deposit values. (Images: Getty).
This city offers the lowest deposit values. (Images: Getty).

Property prices just keep climbing higher and it’s pricing young people out of the market who struggle to get together 20 per cent for a deposit. 

But there is one city where buyers don’t need six figures to get on the ladder.

Aussie home prices increased a further 2.2 per cent last month and official Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showed that Australia has locked in a substantial recovery from the small dip that occurred in the middle of 2020.

Finder analysis of the latest price data from CoreLogic shows that the median property price in every capital city has passed $500,000.

Except in one capital city.

In Darwin the median property price sits at $478,072 which means a buyer would need to save $95,614 to make a 20 per cent deposit.

This makes Darwin the only Australian capital where a 20 per cent deposit costs less than $100,000.

By comparison, a 20 per cent deposit in Sydney is almost $200,000, while Melbourne and Canberra are just shy of $150,000.

Source: CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index, May 2021.
Source: CoreLogic Hedonic Home Value Index, May 2021.

Buyers looking for cheaper regional cities are running out of options too. CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said that values were up for units and houses "across the board" in 97 per cent of the sub-regions.

"Such a synchronised upswing is an absolute rarity across Australia's diverse array of housing markets," Lawless said.

Finder analysis said the good news for homebuyers is that interest rates are low right now so this makes loan repayments cheaper than they might be otherwise.

But that doesn’t make it any easier for young people to save a 6-figure deposit and borrow so much.

Do I really need a 20 per cent deposit?

Technically no, home buyers don't need a 20 per cent deposit in order to enter the market.

Many lenders will accept 10 per cent deposits, or some even 5 per cent but will come with the extra cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) premiums.

LMI protects the lender in the event you can't repay, and can add thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to your loan. The more you borrow and the smaller your deposit, the higher the LMI premium.

2 ways to get a loan without the 20 per cent deposit

Finder said buyers who want to skip saving a gigantic deposit and avoid hefty LMI premiums have two options.

1. Use a guarantor.

This only works if your parents really trust you and own their own home. By acting as loan guarantor, the home owner uses the equity in their property to back your small deposit. This satisfies the lender, and in return the lender waives LMI.

2. The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.

The federal government scheme works like the parental guarantor option above, but with the government acting as guarantor. You can save a 5 per cent deposit and borrow the rest while avoiding LMI. Places in the scheme are capped and you need to be a first home buyer who is building or purchasing a new home.

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Image: Yahoo Finance
Image: Yahoo Finance
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