First-time Buyers

First-time buyers now need nearly a decade to save for a mortgage deposit

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

The amount of time needed to save for a mortgage deposit has reached 10 years, up from around seven years a decade ago, research has found.

According to research from Generation Rent, in 2012 it would take an average of 6.8 years to save for a deposit, whereas now it takes around 9.6 years. The organisation looked at Government data on rents, house prices and salaries to calculate how long it would take for a single renter to save for a deposit.

Assuming tenants could save 20% of the income they had after tax, student loan payments and rent, the median renter could save £2,177 in 2012. This has increased by 21% to £2,630 in 2022-2023.

The average 10% deposit for a first-time buyer was £14,645 in 2012, so it would take 6.8 years of saving to reach that goal. This is now £25,2320, or 9.6 years.

The increased time it takes to save is due to the rent on median one-bed home across England increasing from £495 in 2012 to £725 in 2023.

The report said that this has partially offset the increase in the median post-tax salary to £21,849 in 2012.

Generation Rent said that the other major factor was the 72% increase in the average first-time buyer home over the period to £253,202.

London prices

For those looking to save for a deposit in London, it will around 4.3 years longer than it did a decade ago, taking the average time to 18.3 years. The report said that that’s only if you live in a shared home the whole time. This was followed by 11.3 years in South East and East of England at 10.9 years.

Generation Rent is calling on the Government to boost housebuilding, including social housing, to help reduce rents and the time it takes to save.

‘The struggle to save gets worse’

Ben Twomey, director of Generation Rent, said: “Most renters dream of owning their home one day, but the struggle to save has got even worse in the past decade. In much of the country, the typical worker faces at least a decade living and saving in the private rented sector before they have a mortgage deposit.

“That gets close to two decades for Londoners and even then that’s only possible by sharing with other people into their forties.”

He added: “More people are renting from private landlords for longer stretches of their lives, and want a home that allows them to settle down.

“That’s why we need the measures in the Renters Reform Bill that will stop landlords evicting tenants without a valid reason, drive out criminal landlords and improve the quality of private rented homes.”