FTBs need over 10 years to save for a deposit

Written by Oliver Wade

While the average time taken for a first-time buyer (FTB) to save a 15 per cent deposit has dropped by six months since Q4 2016, in Q4 2018 it still took more than 10 years, according to new data.

According to the research from Hamptons International, 80 per cent of regions in the UK saw a fall in the amount of time needed for a single FTB to save a 15 per cent deposit over the two year period, with it being nine months quicker for those in the East, East Midlands and Wales. The North East and the North West were the only regions where the amount of time remained the same as Q4 2016.

Furthermore, the average time taken for a single Londoner to save for a 15 per cent deposit fell from 16 years in Q4 2016 to 15 years and nine months in the final quarter of 2018. This means that a prospective London buyer starting to save now would be able to purchase a home in Q3 2034.

However, those full-time working couples in England and Wales could expect to have saved a 15 per cent deposit in around 4 years and nine months in Q4 2018, half the time it would take a single person and down from 5 years at the end of 2016. This trend continued when looking at couples in the capital, taking them 7 years and six months on average to save for a deposit, down from 7 years and nine months two years ago.

The quickest place to save for a home was in the North East, where it would take couples around 2 years and nine months to save on average.

When looking comparing the figures from Q4 2018 to those from Q4 2008, the time it takes for FTBs to save for a deposit has dropped by just six months in England and Wales. However, over the decade, it has become a year quicker in three out of ten regions to save for a 15 per cent deposit for single FTBs.

Despite this, for those looking to buy in London, the South East and the South West, the time taken to save for a deposit has increased. Single Londoners looking to purchase their first home will have to wait a year and nine months longer if they started saving at the end of 2018 when compared to Q4 2008.

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.

Commenting on the findings, Hamptons International head of research Aneisha Beveridge 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.”

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