Single first-time buyers need 11 years to save for deposit, figures suggest

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A single first-time buyer faces spending over 11 years saving for a deposit, rising to nearly 18 years in London, research suggests.

Across England and Wales, it could take an average first-time buyer 11 years and three months to raise a 15% deposit to put down on a home, according to the calculations from estate agent Hamptons International.

This would mean someone starting from scratch could finally get the keys to their front door in 2028.

The calculations cover the first quarter of 2017. A year earlier, it could have taken around 10-and-a-half years to raise a 15% deposit, the study found. The study said the increase over the last year reflects how rising house prices have outpaced incomes.

Couples saving together can potentially shave around five years off the length of time it takes to save for a home, the research found, with these people needing to save for six years and three months on average.

In London, a single first-time buyer could potentially take 17 years and nine months to raise a deposit, the calculations suggest.

Even if buyers are saving as a couple in London they still face a wait of over a decade, at 10 years and nine months on average, according to the figures.

The Time to Save index takes 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. Figures from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings are used to make the calculations.

The research assumes households can save 22% of what is left over towards a deposit and that people taking their first step on the property ladder will buy a home priced at around 85% of regional average house prices.

Fionnuala Earley, residential research director at Hamptons International 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.

Here is the average length of time it could take a couple to save a 15% deposit for their first home in the first quarter of 2017, according to the calculations from Hamptons International:

East, Six years three months

East Midlands, Four years nine months

London, 10 years nine months

North East, Three years three months

North West, Four years three months

South East, Seven years nine months

South West, Four years three months

Wales, Four years nine months

West Midlands, Four years three months

Yorkshire and Humber, Four years three months

And here is the average length of time it could take someone who is single to save a 15% deposit for their first home in the first quarter of 2017, according to the calculations from Hamptons International:

East, 12 years three months

East Midlands, 10 years three months

London, 17 years nine months

North East, Six years nine months

North West, Nine years three months

South East, 14 years nine months

South West, 14 years three months

Wales, Nine years three months

West Midlands, Nine years nine months

Yorkshire and Humber, Eight years nine months

See full story in the County Times

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