By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Single buyers ‘priced out’ of property market - claim

Single first-time buyers with low deposits are priced out of much of the property market, research suggests.

New analysis using the latest earnings data from Office for National Statistics shows single first-time buyers on the average salary could not afford to use the Government’s 95% mortgage guarantee scheme on three quarters of properties in the typical first-time buyer market.

The research, conducted by Rightmove, is based on a first-time buyer having a maximum budget of £164,810. This is based on being able to borrow £156,569 from a lender  - 4.5 times the average national salary of £34,793 - and having a 5% deposit of £8,240.


Single first-time buyers in the capital are hardest hit, being able to afford just 2% of studio, one and two-bedroom properties with an average London salary and a 5% deposit, compared to the North East, where solo first-time buyers could afford 67% of properties.

Westminster, Islington & Camden top the list of areas where a single first-time buyer could afford the smallest proportion of typical first-time buyer homes for sale on the average local salary.

Based on a maximum budget of £164,810, a buyer with a 5% deposit would repay £970 per month over 25 years, compared with £818 per month for a buyer with a 15% deposit.

If extending the mortgage term to 35 years, this reduces payments to £850 per month with a 5% deposit, and £706 with a 15% deposit.

Meanwhile, average advertised rents are now 10% higher than this time last year for new tenants across Great Britain, Rightmove said, while the average rent for a studio, one or two bedroom home now makes up 38% of the average salary.

This makes it challenging for those looking to move from the rental market to owning their first home, particularly for a single buyer, the portal warns.
However, for those able to buy with a partner, friend or family member, options greatly open up to those with a small deposit. Two first time buyers on an average salary could afford 70% of smaller properties across Great Britain with a 5% deposit, due to the increased borrowing power.

Last week there were reports that the Government was considering extending the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme that helps people with a 5% deposit to buy a home.

Whilst any support is likely to be welcomed by small-deposit movers, Rightmove suggests that as this scheme can only help a small proportion of people then more options could be considered, especially those that would help people buying on their own to get their first step on the property ladder.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert, said: “Having enough affordable homes in the right places has been an ongoing challenge. It’s clear from our analysis that people trying to buy on their own on the average salary are likely to be priced out of the majority of homes without significant financial help from elsewhere. 

“With the Autumn Statement fast approaching, the Government is likely looking at multiple options and how they could help home-movers, and so we wanted to highlight that this group would particularly welcome any help or incentives.”

Matt Smith, Rightmove’s mortgage expert, added: “Any focus and support for those with the smallest deposits is always going to be welcome.

“However, in reality the mortgage guarantee scheme is only able to help a very small portion of movers, with the majority of first-time buyers preferring to get the affordability benefits of saving for a bigger deposit. 

“If the scheme was cancelled then it may be seen as a disappointing outcome by some, but in reality, it’s unlikely to have a significant impact on consumer choice, as many lenders are offering 5% deposit deals outside of the government scheme.”


Average Salary

Maximum Individual Loan

(4.5 x Salary)

% of studio, one and two bedroom homes a single first-time buyer could afford with a 5% deposit

%of studio, one and two bedroom homes two first-time buyers could afford with a 5% deposit

Great Britain










South East





South West





East of England





East Midlands





West Midlands





North West





Yorkshire and The Humber










North East






Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up