Could you save $73,000 in five years?
Because the average deposit needed to buy a house in Hawke's Bay is now $73,000 higher than it was in 2016, new OneRoof data shows.
The current median value of a house in Hawke's Bay is $670,000 and to buy a property at this price your 20 per cent deposit would need to be $134,000.
A year ago, a 20 per cent deposit in Hawke's Bay was $102,000 and five years ago just $61,000 was needed.
That's a $73,000 difference in five years and a $32,000 increase in the last 12 months.
Hawke's Bay local Emma Chambers and her husband have been looking to purchase their first home in the region for over seven years.
But, even with a six-figure combined income the pair have been struggling to buy a home for their young family.
"Initially we looked into purchasing our first home over seven years ago when I was pregnant with my son and decided that we would wait six months until he was born to see how our financials would change," she said.
"In that time house prices were starting to jump and have been steadily increasing since, constantly leaving us on the back foot."
Chambers said she's been back working full time for just over two years.
"We are finally in a position to purchase but even with over $100,000 salary between us it's been a struggle to prove that we can meet payments," she said.
One banker asked why the couple didn't have any more savings, Chambers said she had to explain that she had to take time off while having her children.
"It constantly feels out of reach and it's disheartening hearing again and again that we're close but never quite enough," she said.
Chambers added her biggest fear is finally getting pre-approval and being "pipped at the post" by better offers.
OneRoof editor Owen Vaughan said the post-lockdown surge has definitely made it harder for first home buyers.
He said that while the cost of servicing a mortgage has never been lower, deposit requirement has never been higher.
In Hastings the current median value for a house is $665,000 and to buy a house at this price you would need a $133,000 deposit (20 per cent).
Napier's current median value is higher than Hastings at $705,000 and the 20 per cent deposit now required is $141,000.
According to the Average Salary Survey for 2020/2021 the average income for the Napier-Hastings urban area is $61,090.
Stewart Group chief executive and financial adviser Nick Stewart said one of the best ways to save up for these big deposits, especially for first-time buyers, is to use KiwiSaver and start early.
"Years of paying into an investment like KiwiSaver can have an impressive snowball effect," he said. "People need to choose a KiwiSaver fund that aligns with their 'first-home goal' and lift their contribution rates."
Stewart said the current property ladder issue has led to parents feeling the need to help their adult children reach the first rung, but there are some risks.
He said there has been a shift to helping family members in the "here and now" but what is needed to help people buy homes is to start gifting early and topping up their KiwiSaver scheme.