Auckland first-home buyers now have to save hard for seven years just to scrape together a 20 per cent deposit for a lower-priced home.

The savings timeframe is much higher than for the rest of the country.

The figures come from interest.co.nz's latest Home Loan Affordability Reports.

The report calculated that a couple aged between 25-29, working full time, would earn on average $1590.83 between them each week.

If they saved 20 per cent of that each week, they could put aside $318.18, leaving $1272.66 for the pair to pay rent, food and other bills.

Even assuming they have no children and don't make KiwiSaver or student loan payments, that saving rate doesn't leave the saver on a lavish lifestyle.

If the pair kept it up, it would take them an average of seven years to get a deposit for an entry-level Auckland home, depending on the area.

If they found a lower quartile home in Papakura or Franklin, they could reduce their saving time to 6.3 years.

But if the buyers wanted to be in North Shore, it would take 8.7 years for a typical first-home buyer to save up. The lower quartile there is $792,500.

The figures are in stark contrast to other major New Zealand cities, where the savings times are almost halved.

An average Wellington first-home buyer could save a deposit in four years, while in Canterbury it would take 3.8 years.

While some might recommend a Welcome Home Loan, an arrangement which allows first-home buyers to get a house with a 10 per cent deposit, that comes with its own fish hooks.

It would likely restrict buyers to the Pukekohe and Franklin areas, as they're the only regions in Auckland with a median selling price below the $650,000 price threshold.



Last week, the Herald reported the story of an Auckland police officer who had quit the job he loved because he couldn't stay in the city on a police salary.

The 25-year-old said he agonised over the decision for 18 months before deciding to quit the police to stay in Auckland.

"The reality is, there's zero chance of being able to own your own house, on your own.

"There's absolutely no way that a 1 or 2 per cent annual increase in your pay is keeping up with inflation, or is going to get you anywhere to be financially stable."

He is now studying for a Bachelor of Commerce, and plans to work in the finance industry.

The former constable said plenty of his old colleagues were weighing up the same decision.



Police officers are not the only workers feeling the pinch.

Also last week, Advanced Security Group announced it was paying an extra $2 an hour to its staff in Auckland.

Chief executive Michael Marr said the extra allowance was a "way to recognise the pain".

In March, new figures revealed teachers were quitting Auckland because of difficulty meeting living costs on a teaching wage.

At the time, many principals suggested solutions to help them keep staff, including consideration of subsidised housing.