The typical Sydney home deposit is on track to surpass its previous record amid rebounding property prices, rising interest rates and tighter lending restrictions.
New data shows the average Sydney home deposit has jumped to almost $160,000. 
Sydney home buyers purchased with a median deposit of $158,000 last quarter, data analysis from conveyancing platform PEXA shows, about $4300 below the previous March 2022 peak.
Median deposits in some affluent postcodes have climbed to more than four times that amount, topping more than $690,000 last financial year in suburbs such as Avalon Beach, Bronte and Woollahra, where the average deposit to value ratio is upwards of 30 per cent, PEXA's Buyer Deposits report, released on Wednesday, shows.
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Buyers in comparatively more affordable suburbs such as Mona Vale, Forestville and Glenhaven, were also averaging deposits of more than 30 per cent.
The analysis excluded cash purchases, which previous PEXA figures showed made up more than 20 per cent of NSW purchases last year.
By comparison, buyers in some of the city's most affordable suburbs were purchasing with more modest average deposits of 13.8 per cent in Rooty Hill, 14.6 per cent in Mount Druitt and 14.8 per cent in St Marys. Their median amounts all sit at less than $80,000.
PEXA head of research Mike Gill said established homeowners with equity were less affected by rising interest rates than first home buyers, who generally had to stretch themselves to get into the market.
"[In more expensive areas] a lot of those buyers are subsequent buyers who have been on the property ladder for some time and have been able to roll previous windfalls into [their deposit]."
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Statewide, the average deposit climbed with property prices, starting from 16.2 per cent for properties worth less than $500,000, to 30.2 per cent for properties priced upwards of $2 million.
Overall, NSW buyers had an average deposit of 20.4 per cent last financial year, rising 1 percentage point year-on-year, as lenders tightened credit standards and increased the deposit required as rates climbed.
The median deposit statewide reached $119,969 – which would take a family on the median income more than seven years to save.
The situation has worsened since, as the median NSW deposit reached a record $134,674 in the September quarter.
"Realistically buyers are going to need to have funds from elsewhere, either a previous asset sale … or support from family … or government assistance [to buy]," Gill said.
"[Those who don't will] find it challenging and things are probably going to get worse. The median deposit has increased, and increased significantly so as they're saving, it's getting further away."
Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said lower-income buyers, who were most sensitive to interest rate rises, had already been squeezed out and buyer activity was being driven by those on higher incomes or with higher equity.
However, he noted the boost to household savings earlier in the pandemic could also be contributing to higher deposits.
"One other possibility is that the buyers coming through have better deposits because of a combination of things – those getting into the market have higher incomes … coupled with the nest eggs saved during the pandemic," Hassan said.
"Looking forward, it raises the question of how sustainable it might be if a buyer without those pandemic savings has to meet a market with a much higher deposit."
Increased deposits and the time needed to save them has already been pushing more first home buyers to turn to the bank of mum and dad, government support schemes and additional work.
Paramount Loans director Amit Talati said a lot of his first home buyer clients in the city's west had taken up additional work to fast track their savings.
"With interest rates up and household expenditure up [their borrowing power has been affected], but a lot of couples have taken up a second job or part-time job to help," he said.
The bulk of his first home buyer clients were purchasing with 5 to 10 per cent deposits, and were stretching to their maximum to buy, fearful they could miss their chance if prices continued to climb. Investors and upgraders usually had deposits of at least 20 per cent.
Equilibria Finance managing director Anthony Landhal said his first home buyer clients were increasingly turning to the bank of mum and dad.
"We're seeing more contributions from parents either through gifts or family guarantees," he said.
For some first home buyers this pushed their deposits above 20 per cent, but the bulk of those with larger deposits were existing homeowners who had benefited from large price gains over the years.
He warned that those purchasing with lower deposits would be more sensitive to rising rates and exposed to the risk of negative equity, in any future market downturn.
This article was originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald 
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