First-time buyers need over 10 years to save for a deposit
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Six months less than two years ago as affordability improves in eight out of 10 regions 

Single first-time buyer 

The average time it takes for a single first-time buyer to save for a 15% deposit in England and Wales fell to 10 years and three months in Q4 2018. This was six months less than in Q4 2016 when it took 10 years and nine months to save – a sign that affordability has improved slightly (table 1). This means that if a single first-time buyer started saving now, it would take them until the beginning of 2029 to be able to afford a home. 

Eight out of 10 regions saw a fall in the amount of time needed for a single first-time buyer to save a 15% deposit over the last two years. It was nine months quicker to save for a deposit in the East, East Midlands and Wales than it was in Q4 2016. The North East and North West were the only regions where time to save stayed the same (table 1). 

A single Londoner hoping to buy would need 15 years and nine months to save, down from 16 years in Q4 2016 as house price growth has slowed and incomes have risen (table 1). This means that it would now take until around Q3 2034 for a single first-time buyer to save for a home in the capital. 

Couple first-time buyers 

It was three months quicker for a full-time working couple in England and Wales to save for a home in 2018 than it was in 2016. In Q4 2018 the average couple would need to save for four years and nine months to raise a 15% deposit on their first home, half the time it takes a single person (table 1). Sharing rent and every day household costs such as food and bills means that a couple can save faster. 

In London it was three months quicker for a couple to save for a home in 2018 than it was two years ago (table 1). The average couple would have to save up until the middle of 2026 to purchase their first home in the capital, taking seven years and six months on average. Meanwhile the quickest place to save for a home was in the North East, where it would take two years and nine months for a couple to save on average. 

10 year change 

In Q4 2018 it was six months quicker for a single first-time buyer to save for a home in England and Wales than it was 10 years ago. In fact, it was a year quicker in three out of 10 regions for a single first-time buyer to save for a 15% deposit than it was in Q4 2008. London, the South East and South West were the only regions where it took longer to save for a deposit in 2018 than 10 years ago. It took a year and nine months longer to save for a home in the capital than it did in Q4 2008 (table 2). 

However, for couples it took longer to save for a deposit than it did 10 years ago in every region other than in the North East. In Q4 2008 it took four years on average to save a 15% deposit. It was three months quicker for a couple to save for a home in the North East in Q4 2018 than it was in Q4 2008 (table 2). 

 

Aneisha Beveridge, Head of Research, Hamptons International said: 

“Saving a deposit is still the biggest barrier to buying a home, but things did improve in 2018. Slowing house price growth – which is expected to continue – combined with rising wages, meant that last year it was six months quicker to save for a home than it was two years earlier. However, despite the slight improvement in affordability it still takes a single person more than a decade to save up to buy a home. 

“Conditions are hardest in the capital where house prices have increased the most over the last decade. Despite price growth cooling off more recently, it still takes a single person over 15 years to save up for a 15% deposit for a home in the capital. This is over nine years longer than in the North East, which is the quickest region to save for a home.” 

Chart 1

 

 Source: Hamptons International 

 

Chart 2

 Source: Hamptons International 

 

Table 1 - Time to Save for a 15% Deposit – 2 Year Change 

Source: Hamptons International

 

Table 2 - Time to Save for a 15% Deposit – 10 Year Change 

Source: Hamptons International

 

For further information please contact: 

Alison Blease 

Head of Research PR, Hamptons International 

Tel: +44 (0) 776 96 77 825 

Email: bleasea@hamptons-int.com 

 

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