First time buyer needs £20,000 to get on property ladder

Friday, 9th March 2018, 08:10 am
Updated Friday, 9th March 2018, 08:10 am

The average first-time buyer is now seven years older than in 1960 and needs to save around £20,000 to be able to buy a home, a study has found.

Researchers found a huge difference in the profile of someone buying their first home through the generations.

Today, first-time buyers will be in their thirties before they get onto the property ladder and pay a deposit of £20,622.

In comparison, in 1960, the average first-time buyer was just 23 years old paying a deposit £595 on their first home - the equivalent of around £12,738 today.

James Thomson, CEO of Keepmoat Homes, which commissioned a survey of 2,000 people, said: "As the UK's leading homebuilder for first-time buyers we understand better than anyone the challenges that come with getting onto the property ladder.

"In fact we sell 72 per cent of our homes to first-time buyers and so the results of the research were very interesting for us.

"It's worrying to see just how much tougher things have become, particularly since 2000, with the research showing house prices have risen by over £55,000 and the average deposit has increased significantly from £12,988 in 2000 to £20,622 today.

"It isn't surprising that the research revealed 69 per cent of people think it's now harder than ever to buy a home."

Rising deposits

To produce the results, researchers quizzed homebuyers about when they bought their first property, how much paid and what their deposit was.

They found homebuyers in the 1960s spent just over two years saving a deposit of £595 - with an average household income of £2,854 at the time.

But those who have bought since 2011 spent more than five years saving a deposit of £20,622 - more than half the £35,634 average annual household income.

As a result, a staggering 48 per cent of people had help to the tune of £10,200 towards this cost from mum and dad.

In the 1990s the cost of a deposit was just over a quarter of the average household income of £20,591 and only 26 per cent of first-time buyers had financial help - an average of £3,881.

Relationship changes

But while 84 per cent of first-time buyers were married in 1960, this has dropped to just 27 per cent in recent years.

In fact, first-time buyers are more likely to be in a relationship today rather than married to their partner.

One in five first-time buyers today are single - compared to just three per cent in the 1960s.

The study also found 31 per cent of people are still living in the first home they bought, including one in 10 of those who bought in the 1960s and 15 per cent who bought in the 1980s.

However, two thirds of respondents think people are now more likely to end up purchasing a flat or small home, which they will have to move from in order to start a family, to get on the ladder.

James Thomson from Keepmoat Homes added: "The situation for first-time buyers has become increasingly difficult but there are positive things happening too.

"This includes the Government's Help to Buy scheme, which has already helped many people onto the property ladder, and the recent abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers."

Profiles of the average first-time buyer through the decades: (not taking inflation into account)

1960sAge: 23Married (84%) In a relationship (13%)Household income: £2,854House purchase price: £16,364Deposit: £595.26Length of time to save deposit: Two years and one month23 per cent had financial help - average of £746Fees: £180.49

1970sAge: 25Married (74%) In a relationship (13%)Household income: £7,307House purchase price: £22,226Deposit: £1,191Length of time to save deposit: Two years and eight months25 per cent had financial help - average of £1,774Fees: £454.10

1980sAge: 28Married (49%) Single (24%)Household income: £14,345House purchase price: £47,488Deposit: £2,955Length of time to save deposit: Three years and one month21 per cent had financial help - average of £4,052Fees: £944

1990sAge: 29Married (29%) Single (29%)Household income: £20,591House purchase price: £78,225Deposit: £5,210Length of time to save deposit: Four years26 per cent had financial help - average of £3,881Fees: £1,422

2000sAge: 29Married (30%) In a relationship (30%)Household income: £29,993House purchase price: £123,822Deposit: £12,988Length of time to save deposit: Four years and four years42 per cent had financial help - average of £8,408Fees: £2,368

2011+Age: 30In a relationship (30%) Married (27%)Household income: £35,634House purchase price: £179,594Deposit: £20,622Length of time to save deposit: Five years and one month48 per cent had financial help - average of £10,200Fees: £2,623