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First-time buyers face nine year wait to get on the ladder

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Written by: Margarita Rudd
17/11/2021
First-time buyers could be waiting nine years to buy their first home or five years longer than they expect, according to research by Yorkshire Building Society.

According to the research, more than a third of UK adults aged 18 to 34 see owning their own home as the most important life event they will save for.

Three in five expect to own their own home within four years of starting to save for a deposit but with the average UK house price standing at £246,244, prospective buyers would need to save a 5% deposit of at least £12,312 on average to make their home-owning dreams a reality.

However, the average amount currently saved by those aged 18 to 34 is £114 per month, which Yorkshire estimates would take an aspiring homeowner nine years – more than double their expectation – to amass a savings pot big enough to cover the average 5% deposit needed to get on the housing ladder.

Disparity between expectation and reality

This timeline increases to 18 years if aspiring homeowners are aiming for a 10% deposit, highlighting the disparity between expectation and reality for many potential buyers.

Ben Merritt, senior mortgage manager, said: “As our research shows, buying a first home remains a life ambition for many people but achieving that remains a struggle, particularly for first-time buyers.

“The reality of having to save for nearly a decade is a stark reminder that the upfront costs of purchasing a house still prove too big a barrier to overcome for some.

“After almost a full year of staying at home with less opportunities to spend and more cosy nights in, we are reminding people to consider the financial cost of impulse spending.”

Impulse spending

The data also shines a light on regrets people have over their spending habits. Almost two thirds of those surveyed say they regret spending on impulse purchases and wish they had saved the money instead, with an average of £164 spent on a whim each month.

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