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First-time buyers face six-year savings wait - research

Single first-time buyers need to save for almost 6.5 years or 76 months to raise a 10% deposit and cover moving costs including conveyancing, surveying and removals, new research suggests.

Analysis by property comparison website reallymoving – based on conveyancing quote requests on its platform - found on average, first-time buyers pay 25% less for a property than buyers in the wider market. 

But to purchase a property at the UK average first-time buyers purchase price of £234,000, a 10% deposit of £23,400 needs to be saved in addition to £1,314 for conveyancing, £420 for a survey and £420 for removals, bringing the total to £25,554. 


Assuming they are able to put aside 10% of their salary each month, it would take 76 months to save enough to cover all upfront costs. 

Those than can club together will see their time to save halved to 38, assuming they are both earning the national average wage.

During 2023, 50.5% of first-time buyers bought a three-bedroom property or larger, indicating that as the average age at which people achieve home ownership has risen to 33, according to the research.

There is also a North-South divide, with buyers in London facing the daunting task of saving for 104 months (8 years and 8 months) in order to raise the £45,012 needed to get on the housing ladder. In comparison, those in the North East need to save for around half the time (55 months) to raise £14,962.

On average, first-time buyers in the South of England need to wait around 2.5 years (31 months) longer to get on the housing ladder than those in the North.

Reallymoving founder Rob Houghton said: “Mortgage affordability has been a big focus over the last two years, but raising a deposit and covering the cost of moving is still the biggest challenge facing most First Time Buyers who don’t have access to the Bank of Mum and Dad.

“With the cost of living, and rents, still so high, putting money aside every month is extremely difficult and even for those who are able to do that consistently, the average First Time Buyer is still looking at a minimum 6.5 year wait to get on the ladder.

“Clearly tackling access to home ownership is not a top priority for the Conservative Government, with no support whatsoever for first-time buyers in the Spring Budget. 

“We can only hope that as the parties publish their manifestos in the run up to the General Election, we will finally see meaningful action to increase housing supply, including social housing, which would filter through to lower house price inflation for the rest of the market. With net migration into the UK of 670,000 in 2023, increasing supply is the only way to make home ownership more affordable in the long term.”


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