Time taken to save a first home deposit rises by up to three years

The time it’s taking for first-time buyers to save for their first home has grown by three years in some parts of the national property market, according to research by Yes Homebuyers.

Related topics:  Mortgages
Rozi Jones
17th February 2021
house buy save pig saving
"The reality is that these ever increasing property prices are pushing the dream of homeownership further out of reach for many first-time buyers."

Yes Homebuyers looked at the cost of the average deposit at 15% of the current average first-time buyer house price. It then looked at how long it was taking to save for this deposit based on tucking away 20% of a first-time buyer's net monthly income and how this timeline has changed since 2012.

The research shows that with the current first-time buyer house price sitting at £209,163 across Britain, a 15% deposit requires a savings pot of £31,374.

With the average first-time buyer taking home a net monthly income of £1,970, saving at a rate of 20% a month would see them put away just £394.

As a result, it’s currently taking the average first-time buyer in Britain 6.6 years to save for a mortgage deposit. This is over a year (1.1) longer than it was taking them to save the same size mortgage deposit back in 2012.

In London, it currently takes the average first-time buyer 11 years to save enough for a 15% deposit on the average London FTB property (£445,945). This timeline has increased by a huge three years since 2012, the largest increase of all areas of Britain.

In the South East, the current time for a first-time buyer to save for a mortgage deposit is 7.9 years, increasing by 1.7 years since 2012. The East of England has also seen one of the largest increases, with new buyers now required to save for 7.7 years, an increase of 1.6 years since 2012.

While the South West has seen the time required to save increase by 1.5 years since 2012, the current first-time buyer is required to save for a total of eight years in the current market, meaning the region is home to the second-longest period to accumulate a mortgage deposit outside of London.

There is one region, however, where the mortgage deposit saving timeline has reduced. In the North East, the average buyer would take just 4.3 years to save a 15% deposit on the current first-time buyer property price of £119,411. This is a marginal reduction on the 4.4 years that was required in 2012.

Scotland and Yorkshire and the Humber have seen some of the smallest increases, with first-time buyer now required to save for 0.4 years and 0.6 years longer respectively than they would have in 2012.

Matthew Cooper, founder and managing director of Yes Homebuyers, commented: “We seem to consider consistent house price growth as a cause for celebration in Britain. However, the reality is that these ever increasing property prices are pushing the dream of homeownership further out of reach for many first-time buyers.

"To think that the timeline of saving for a mortgage deposit has increased by as much as three years since 2012 alone is quite shocking and really highlights the huge task facing those who wish to get their first foot on the ladder.

"Instead of delivering on their promises of building new homes, the government has consistently added fuel to this affordability fire by stoking demand via schemes like Help to Buy. Until they actually increase the supply of stock reaching the market, this gap will continue to widen and the average age of the nation’s first-time buyers will continue to climb as they are forced to save for far longer, simply to accumulate enough for a mortgage deposit.”

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