Gunnedah residents are taking an average of 17 years to pay off a mortgage, compared to those in central Sydney who are taking up to 82 years.
But homeowners in the far west of the state are only taking three years to be back in the black.
New research by the Regional Australia Institute has found that workers living in outer-city suburbs would be financially better off moving to regional areas.
On average, outer-city residents are earning 10 per cent more than their regional counterparts, yet, on average, have mortgages twice as large.
RAI co-chief executive Dr Kim Houghton has called for a "new awareness campaign" to promote the opportunities of living in regional Australia.
He has also raised "serious questions about the type of future Australia has if predicted population growth continues in major cities".
"Australia's population is set to grow by up to 19 million by 2056, but if we continue with our current geographic patterns of settlement, most of that population will end up in the outer suburbs," he said.
Co-chief executive Liz Ritchie said the challenges of our rapid urban population growth are already becoming clear, with high house prices paid by average wages and rising commute distances emerging as key points.
"The average outer suburban Sydney worker earns $80,088, whereas their regional city counterpart has a wage of slightly less at $71,281," she said.
However, the stark contrast emerges when house prices are compared."
The RAI has also released a new Move tool, which compares average salary, house prices, unemployment rates and lifestyle factors for every region in Australia.
Gunnedah residents are able to pay off their mortgages in just 17 years, five years quicker than those in Tamworth.
The average Tamworth salary comes in at $56,469, almost $10,000 less than Gunnedah, but the average Tamworth house price of $344,921 is $25,000 more expensive.
Meanwhile, residents of Sydney's Woollahra are paying more than 11 times as much for an average house as their Tamworth counterparts at an average of $4 million, but are only earning 3.5 times as much, making for an 82-year mortgage.
On the other end of the scale, homeowners in the Central Darling, in far west NSW, are earning more per year than the average house price.
They are paying mortgages off in just three years, while Gwydir residents are looking at 10 years, Liverpool Plains 13 years and Armidale 23 years.
"This research really poses a significant question to families in the future - will you be financially better off setting up a life in regional Australia?" Ms Ritchie said.