Several years could be slashed from the time it takes Illawarra first-home buyer couples to save for a house deposit under a proposed policy.
For instance, it would take 88 months to save the 20 per cent deposit of $151,000 now required to buy a house in the Kiama LGA at the entry level price of $755,000.
However, under a proposed new policy, it would take just 22 months to save a five per cent deposit of $37,750.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week announced the proposed $500 million scheme that will see eligible first-home buyers, with at least a five per cent deposit for a home, qualify for a loan.
How many months it will take to save for a deposit on an entry-level house
How many months it will take to save for a deposit on an entry-level unit
They'll also save around $10,000 by not having to pay mortgage insurance to lenders under the scheme.
Labor says it will also introduce the scheme if it wins Saturday's election.
A leading economist said the initiative could enable first-home buyers to get onto the property ladder faster.
Domain Group senior research analyst Dr Nicola Powell said the entry level prices in the Illawarra are much lower than those of Sydney.
There is a risk some of these first home buyers could end up with negative equity.
"So in that sense they are more affordable, but when you put it into perspective in terms of the average wage... It does take a long time to save that 20 per cent deposit," she said.
"So having this five per cent will make market access quicker for first-home buyers."
However, Dr Powell said there were concerns regarding the proposal, such as having a high loan-to-value ratio of 95 per cent, especially as prices were softening.
"There is a risk some of these first home buyers could end up with negative equity," she said.
Dr Powell also noted it would be capped at 10,000 loans per year nationally, which was "not a big figure when you look at the overall number of first-home buyers trying to get into the market".
Dr Powell was also uncertain whether this policy would have the same impact as the state government's stamp duty concessions for first home buyers.
"It seems to be a first come, first serve policy, so I don't think it will make as big a dent as the NSW government initiative did, for example," she said.
Domain Group figures provide further comparisons as to how much less time and money would be required to save for a five per cent deposit in the Illawarra.
The figures are based on the average income for a couple aged between 25 to 34 years old in each LGA, with each person saving 20 per cent of post-tax income.
The prices quoted are as of the end of March this year.
Buying a house in the Shellharbour LGA would require an entry price of $540,000; it would take 63 months to save the $108,000 deposit.
Meanwhile, it would take 16 months to save the five per cent deposit ($27,000).
In the Wollongong LGA, with an entry price for a house of $570,000, it would require 66 months to save the 20 per cent deposit.
It would take 16 months to save for the five per cent deposit of $28,500.