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Eight years to save deposit for first home

It takes the average Australian couple more than four years to save up for their first home deposit, with Sydney topping the list with a staggering eight years, a new report reveals.

Bankwest's first time buyers report, released on Thursday, shows that in 2016, average couples spent 4.4 years saving up for a 20 per cent deposit to buy a median-priced house - two months longer than last year.

Buyers in NSW faced the longest wait at 5.7 years to save up $138,600, while in Sydney, couples spent an average of 8.4 years raising the $214,600 required for a deposit on a median-priced house.

"Young couples in NSW and especially Sydney are battling the most competitive property market in the nation thanks to property value growth exceeding wage growth," Bankwest executive general manager, retail Andrew Whitechurch said.

"Sydney's median house value rose above $1 million for the first time in 2015 and every single local government area in the capital city requires first home buyers to save for more than four years to accumulate the deposit needed for a median-priced house."

Melbourne trailed Sydney, with the average required savings time sitting at 6.2 years, up slightly from 5.8 years in 2015.

Couples in Hobart and Perth had the shortest waiting time at 3.8 years, although it was slightly lower at 3.4 years for the Tasmanian capital in 2015.

The Perth local government area of Peppermint Grove topped the country for first time buyers at a whopping 19.7 years, a slight decrease from last year's 20.2

The Sydney LGAs of Strathfield and Mosman came in next, at 17.9 years and 17.4, respectively.

"The gap between the shortest and the longest required savings times has widened in NSW. However while it's dire in the city, savings times in rural and regional areas have remained relatively stable and offer much quicker pathways on to the property ladder," Mr Whitechurch said.

The increase in wait-time is believed to be in part due to the removal of the First Home Owner Grant for established homes by several state governments, coupled with rising housing and property prices.