Saving a deposit for your first home
We all know that its tougher than ever for first-time buyers to grab that first rung of the property ladder. But, recent research from global property services firm Hamptons International, has calculated exactly how long saving a deposit can take – 10-and-a-half years.
That’s right, a single person looking to buy their first home, can spend 126 months saving enough to put a down payment on a property, large enough to afford them the mortgage they need to buy it.
“Getting on the UK’s property ladder has never been easy, but with figures showing exactly how hard it is today, it’s no wonder that the average age of a first-timer remains above 30,” said Battersea estate agent, Eden Harper.
Deposit saving breakdown
However, while the average time to save a deposit is around the ten-year mark, the details of the research show that sharing the financial burden really does halve it; it takes couples buying their first home five years to save up that 15% deposit as a down payment for their first property.
And, although that time-to-save a deposit for a single first-time buyer might seem like a very long time, there is something to cheer – it’s down from the 11 years it took in 2017. It’s also well below the 13-and-a-half years Hamptons calculated it took to save a deposit in 2014.
The reason behind that length of time to save a deposit? House prices.
While there has been a decline in how long it takes to save a deposit, it’s still a big increase on figures from 2016 and earlier. The property expert’s data shows couples could save a 15% in just three-and-half years.
“Buying a home really is a huge financial commitment and in order to make you and attractive option for mortgage lenders, first-time buyers need to have a reasonably sized deposit in place,” said Pimlico estate agent, Andrew Reeves. “Without that initial down payment, few lenders will be willing to approve a mortgage big enough to buy a home.”
Londoners fare the worst
This detail is no surprise, but its still worthy of note. That’s because Hamptons research calculates that first-time buyers saving to purchase their own property in London will need to save 17 years to get together the deposit big enough for the transaction.
A couple can take eight years to save that deposit, the property management firm adds.
The part of the UK where it takes the shortest amount of time to save that all important first-time buyers deposit? North East England. A couple can manage it in two years and nine months. Meanwhile, for a single person, that time scale increases to just over six years.
If, however, first-time buyers opted to make their purchase with the assistance of Help to Buy, they could really reduce that timescale.
On average across the UK, Help to Buy cuts the time spent saving for a 15% deposit to one year and nine months for a couple. And, for Londoners, the time could be just three years for a couple and five years nine months for a single home buyer.
“Buying your first home is still a rite of passage for so many Britons, but the high level of house prices makes it very difficult to achieve,” said Knightsbridge estate agent, Plaza Estates. “If a single person began saving now, they wouldn’t have the keys to their first home until 2028 – that’s a long time to anyone, but particularly someone who’s working hard to achieve the goal of becoming a home-owner.”