How much do you need for a house deposit?

For most of us, our first house is a step on the property ladder rather than our forever home. But how much do you need to save?

The first step in saving for a home deposit is figuring out how much you can potentially afford to borrow. A handy tool to help you estimate your loan amount is a borrowing power calculator, while a home loan repayment calculator can help you figure your monthly repayments. Once you have some estimates in place, it’s easy to calculate your deposit amount.

Generally, you’ll need 20% of the purchase price of the home to put down as deposit. In fact, lenders favour large deposits as it provides a good indication that you can manage your money. For deposits lower than 20%, you’ll incur a lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI), which is usually added on to the loan. Your deposit could be less if you’re eligible for the Home Guarantee Scheme.*

You’ll also need to factor in the upfront costs of buying a home – including fees, charges and duties.

The amount you need to save for a home deposit should include:

  • your deposit amount
  • any associated fees and charges. 

*Formerly First Home Loan Deposit Scheme

How to save for a house deposit faster

It’s a big decision when you decide you’re going to start saving to buy a home. It may seem like it’s going to take forever, but there are ways you can get there more quickly.

Keep track of your finances with NAB Spending

Saving takes dedication and planning. Get help with your savings plan by using the NAB Spending tool when you log in to internet banking. This tool can help you budget, track your spending and set up a realistic savings goal.

Set up a designated account

One great way to ensure you meet your savings goals is to set up a designated 'house deposit' account. Find out how to open multiple accounts.

Set a budget

Set a budget and stick to it when saving for a house deposit. It’s good practise to keep money aside for fixed expenses (rent, utilities, mortgage), debt and emergencies and then calculate how much of the remaining amount could be put into savings. 

Reduce or pay off your debts

If you have a car or a personal loan that you’re still paying off, you’re paying interest that you could be saving towards a house deposit. Removing or reducing debt is a great way to boost your savings. You could also look at consolidating your debts to help you save on fees and reduce interest paid.

Maximise your savings

You might want to consider a term deposit as a savings option to help you reach your goal. These savings products are low-risk and offer fixed, competitive interest rates and you can choose a term to suit your needs. 

Automate your savings

Boost your savings by transferring money to your savings account as soon as your salary comes in. Set up an automatic transfer or direct debit, so you can keep adding to your savings account without having to remember to manually transfer money after each pay day.

Get all the first home buying assistance you can

First Home Owner Grant

If you’re starting out, you may qualify for a First Home Owner Grant (FHOG). How much you get, and the rules and conditions, vary from state to territory and can change from time to time.

Most states and territories offer grants for newly built homes rather than established homes. The grant amounts differ depending on your state or territory. Find out more about FHOG for your state or territory, opens in new window.

Stamp duty concessions

If you’re buying your first house, you may also qualify for stamp duty concessions (depending on the state or territory). Since stamp duty can add to the purchase price, this is a real help.

The key to a successful savings goal is to be realistic about what you can afford to buy. Read our advice on how to manage your expectations and buy an affordable home.

When the time comes to apply for a home loan, don’t feel like you have to do it on your own. Visit your local branch, make an appointment with a mobile banker or, if you’re ready, feel free to apply online.

Calculate how much you can borrow

Get an estimate of what you could afford to borrow and compare different home buying scenarios.

Explore property and home buying guides

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Contact us for home loan related queries

This is how you can get in touch.

Start a conversation with a banker

  1. Log into either NAB Internet Banking or the NAB app.
  2. Tap on the message icon.
  3. Type ‘speak to a person’ in the conversation window.

Call us

Speak to a home loan expert about a new or existing home loan.

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Terms and Conditions

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

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