- It takes 11 years and three months to raise a 15% deposit if you’re single
- It means that a first-time buyer who starts saving for a deposit today will finally be able to get the keys to their front door in 2028
- It compares to six years and three months on average if you’re in a couple
Stepping onto the property ladder has become a desperate struggle for many hopeful first-time buyers, especially if they have to go it alone.
The true extent of the problem has been laid bare by new research that shows a typical single first-time buyer has to spend more than a decade saving for a typical deposit.
On average, it could take 11 years and three months to raise a 15 per cent deposit to put down on a home, according to the findings by estate agents Hamptons International.
It means that a first-time buyer who starts saving for a deposit today will finally be able to start househunting in 2028.
The average first-time buyer who starts saving for a deposit today will finally be able to get the keys to their front door in 2028
It takes a single first-time buyer more than a decade to save for a deposit to buy a home
The calculations covered the first three months of this year, and were up on the same period a year earlier when it could have taken around 10 and a half years to raise a 15 per cent deposit.
Hamptons International blamed the increase on rising house prices outpacing incomes.
|Q1 2017||Q4 2016||Q1 2017||Q4 2016|
|East||6yr 3m||6yr 6m||12y 3m||12yr 6m|
|East Midlands||4y 9m||4y 6m||10y 3m||9y 9m|
|England & Wales||6y 3m||5y 9m||11y 3m||11y 6m|
|London||10y 9m||10y 6m||17 9m||17y 6m|
|North East||3y 3m||3y||6y 9m||6y 6m|
|North West||4y 3m||4y||9y 3m||9y 6m|
|South East||7y 9m||7y 6m||14y 9m||14y 6m|
|South West||4y 3m||4y 3m||14y 3m||13y 9m|
|Wales||4y 9m||4 9m||9y 3m||9y 3m|
|West Midlands||4y 3m||4y||9y 9m||9y 9m|
|Yorks & Humber||4y 3m||4y||8y 9m||8y 9m|
|Source: Hamptons International|
Couples can shave around five years off the length of time it takes to save for a deposit compared to a single person
With two household incomes at their disposal, it takes working couples significantly less time to save a deposit.
They can shave around five years off the length of time it takes to save for a deposit compared to a single person.
A couple needs to save for six years and three months on average, according to the research.
In London, where house prices are higher, buyers who are saving as a couple still face a wait of more than a decade, at 10 years and nine months on average.
The calculations take into account how much money aspiring first-time buyers may have left over after tax, rent, and other regular bills such as food, utilities and transport.
The research assumes households can save 22 per cent of what is left over towards a deposit and that people taking their first step onto the property ladder will buy a home costing 85 per cent of regional average house prices.
Hamptons International’s Fionnuala Earley said the time it takes to save for a deposit prevents many from achieving their ambition of home ownership without outside help.
She said: ‘Saving a deposit is still the biggest barrier to buying a first home. It takes a single person more than 11 years to save up in current conditions.
‘But once over that hurdle, falling mortgage rates have taken the pressure off first-time buyers over the last 10 years.
‘Their ability to afford a mortgage after tax, rent and spending on essentials, has improved across the whole country – with the exception of London where ability to buy has seriously deteriorated since the start of 2012.’
In London, house price growth has far outstripped growth in incomes and effectively wiped out the effect of lower interest rates, the study said.
It comes as separate research suggests that people are so aware of struggles facing single buyers that they are willing to stay in a relationship just to get on the property ladder.
The study by mortgage brokers L&C reveals almost two million people are doing exactly that – and the figure is expected to pass that threshold within the next five years.
It claims a total of 1.8 million people have stayed in a relationship purely to be able to afford a home.
David Hollingworth, of L&D Mortgages, said: ‘The fact that so many people view staying in a relationship they perhaps don’t want to be in as one of their only options for getting onto the housing ladder is indicative of the struggle people face when buying their first home.
‘With such large sums needed for deposits and combined salaries often the only option to achieve the required mortgage, the temptation to stay with a partner is understandable.
‘In the UK, we place a great deal of importance on owning our own home, and of course buying property is one of the biggest financial moves you can make – but it isn’t right that people are sacrificing their emotional wellbeing in order to focus on financial stability.’