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High-earning first-time buyers struggle to save deposit

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Written by: John Fitzsimons
20/09/2019
Saving a sufficient deposit proves a barrier to aspiring homeowners, as well as the complex mortgage process
High-earning first-time buyers struggle to save deposit

Almost half of would-be first-time buyers earning more than £80,000 a year say they are struggling to save for a deposit, a new study from Atom Bank has found.

The survey of 2,000 prospective home-buyers found that two-thirds experienced anxiety over the challenges of buying a home.

The pressure of finding a deposit was felt by 58 per cent of first-time buyers (FTBs) across all salaries — including those earning well above the national average.

Atom’s study noted the complexity of the mortgage process contributed to mental health stresses for all FTBs.

Such worries have led 37 per cent of would-be home owners to pull out of a potential purchase due to the stress of it all.

The survey’s results reinforced the views of brokers who told Your Mortgage‘s sister title Mortgage Solutions this week that the industry has a duty to make mortgage terminology more clear, including to cut out misconceptions that hold back FTBs.

Almost 72 per cent said that mortgage firms did not fully comprehend the challengers buyers face and 78 per cent argued the process is too complex and needs to be more consumer-friendly.

A fifth of those buying on their own had pulled out due to stress, compared to 6 per cent of those going through the process with another person.

Relying on the family

The report found that 38 per cent of would-be homeowners could save a big enough deposit only with help from their family or partner.

It suggested that family reliance grows with age: Generation X (born between the mid-60s and the early 80s) were twice as likely to ask for help as millennials — at 26 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

Mark Mullen, chief executive of Atom Bank, said that buying a home is stressful enough without also having to worry about the mortgage process.

He continued: “This makes it vital that buyers feel at ease from as early on in the process as possible. The results show that there is a real disconnect between advisers and buyers, as many people are seeking advice from their parents, who may have not purchased a property in decades.”

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