New research from comparison website finder.com.au found that on average, women take 3.6 years to save for a deposit, whereas men take 3.8 years.

According to Bessie Hassan, money expert at finder.com.au, many prospective first-home buyers are encouraged to save for a deposit because of the low interest rates being offered by many lenders. The downside of low interest rates, however, is that there are also low interest rates on deposits. To further complicate the situation, rising property prices mean that the deposit required to enter the property market keeps growing as well.

Most homebuyers need a minimum 10% deposit. Hassan cautions homebuyers to save an amount larger than this—at least 20%. This way, homebuyers won’t have to pay lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) and will have enough to settle all the associated fees and charges that come with buying a home. 

The research revealed other interesting patterns among first-home buyers. How long it takes to save for a deposit varies from state to state. On average, buyers in New South Wales and Queensland took the longest to save for a deposit at 47 months. In Victoria, it was 45 months, Western Australia 40 months, South Australia 39 months, and Tasmania 37 months.

Nationwide, a third of homebuyers took five years or more to save for a deposit, and more than 11% of homebuyers had to save for 10 years or more for their deposits.

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