Nearly half of young Aucklanders who hope to buy their first home expect to pay more than $700,000 - meaning they have to save at least $140,000 for a deposit.
Only 14 per cent of aspiring house-hunters believe they will be on the property ladder within two years and the same percentage don't expect to own their own home until at least 2031.
The city's biggest real-estate firm, Barfoot & Thompson, surveyed 500 Aucklanders aged 18 to 34 who were yet to own property about whether home ownership was achievable.
The findings, provided exclusively to the Herald, show barely a third believe it is a realistic prospect in Auckland, but nearly half are actively working towards buying their first house.
One-in-three aged 25 and over were still living with their parents or delaying having children to save for a deposit and only 9 per cent of aspiring home-owners would consider apartments.
Part two of the survey findings examine the future market, when the next generation of first-home buyers hope to purchase, how much they expect to pay and what alternative regions they would consider outside Auckland.
Barfoot director Peter Thompson said the home ownership dreams of young Aucklanders bore a striking resemblance to those of previous generations, with more than 90 per cent aspiring to buy a house.
Nearly one-in-three were considering buying alone while 62 per cent intended to buy with a partner.
"This may be as much a financial reality as it is about settling down, but it is in step with what many first-home buyers have done before them," Mr Thompson said.
Home ownership remained a long-term dream for many young Aucklanders. Nearly one-in-three thought their first purchase was at least a decade away while 14 per cent did not expect to own a house for at least 15 years.
"Based on these figures, the ageing of the first-home buyer market is likely to continue," Mr Thompson said.
"Our previous research has already shown that while the majority (77 per cent) of first-home buyers in 1979 and earlier were under 30, around half (52 per cent) of those who bought their first home more recently, between 2010 and 2015, were 30 and over."
In terms of price, 43 per cent of aspiring buyers anticipated paying $700,000 or more for their first home - requiring a 20 per cent deposit of at least $140,000 - while just over a quarter expected to pay between $500,000 and $699,000.
Elsewhere in the country, nearly half expected to pay less than $400,000 for their first purchase.
And while most aspiring buyers would still consider purchasing in Auckland (74 per cent), the next most popular regions were Waikato (considered by 15 per cent), Bay of Plenty (13 per cent), Northland (10 per cent) and Wellington (10 per cent).
Loan Market mortgage broker Bruce Patten said many buyers priced out of Auckland were looking to the regions, with young couples securing employment in the regions as a means to get on the property ladder.
"It's not just investors, it's baby boomers cashing up.
"They're making that decision to move not for the job, not for lifestyle, but simply to be an owner of their own home."
The Barfoot & Thompson Next First Home Buyers Survey was conducted by TRA. It questioned more than 500 Aucklanders aged 18 to 34 about home ownership and their future living plans. Margin of error +/- 4.3%.
FUTURE FIRST HOME BUYERS
• 43 per cent of aspiring young Auckland buyers expect to pay over $700,000 for their first home.
• 29 per cent anticipate paying between $500,000 and $699,000.
• Outside of Auckland nearly half of those surveyed expect to pay less than $400,000.
• Nearly a third of young Aucklanders who want to buy their own home don't expect to purchase within the next decade.
• Only 14 per cent believe they'll buy within two years and the same proportion don't expect to be homeowners till at least 2031.
• Optimism decreases with age, with those 25 years and older seeing home ownership as less achievable than the 18-to-24 age bracket.
• 74 per cent of aspiring buyers would still consider purchasing in Auckland, followed by Waikato (considered by 15 per cent), Bay of Plenty (13 per cent), Wellington (10 per cent) and Northland (10 per cent).
• The Barfoot & Thompson Next First Home Buyers Survey was conducted by TRA. It questioned more than 500 Aucklanders aged 18 to 34 about home ownership and their future living plans. Margin of error +/- 4.3%.