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Brits take up to four years to save deposit for first home

·2-min read
A row of terraced residential houses in north London. Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment
A row of terraced residential houses in north London. Photo: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Brits are up against a long wait to own their first home, with the average first-time buyer taking as long as four years to scrape together the money for a deposit.

The average first-time buyer will have to save for three to four years for a deposit on a two bed property, according to a survey of 1,000 by First Mortgage.

The study also found that the property market is largely a mystery to young Brits. Although two fifths strive for a two-bedroom home 58% are unsure of what a property like this would cost in their area, while 40% are unsure of what any property costs.

With working from home becoming “the new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic, three in five (57%) potential young buyers said they are considering a move to the country, where better properties are more affordable.

READ MORE: The best month to buy a house, a car and an engagement ring

The temporary stamp duty holiday announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July could help buyers save about £15,000.

“Our advice to first home-buyers in this climate is to take advantage,” said David McGrail at First Mortgage.

“With overseas travel limited, government support through the reduction of stamp duty, and less socialising, it is prime time to get your finances in order and create a plan to get your dream home.”

However, this benefit is lost on nearly a third (29%) of first-time buyers, who said that even with these measures and the money they have saved in lockdown, it will still take them nearly four years to put aside what they need for a deposit.

READ MORE: Sellers' white lies cost homebuyers over £20,000

Regardless of location, saving often requires sacrifices and lifestyle changes. Some of the ways future home-owners are trying to save money include eating out less (34%), skipping annual holidays and getaways (32%), and even moving back in with their parents (18%).

One successful first-time buyer explained: “We had to be tight with our savings, so we had a spreadsheet of all of our incomings and outgoings.

“We had a savings target each month that we had to hit, and we packed lunches, cancelled social occasions, and got rid of subscriptions to be able to meet it. It’s worth it though now we are in our own home.”

However, a third of first home buyers admitted they did not have a fixed amount they saved each month to put towards buying their first home, simply putting away as much as they can manage on a month-to-month basis, instead.

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