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First-time buyers face 13-year deposit wait

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First-time buyers will have to save for almost 13 years in order to put down an average deposit, according to research from Scottish Widows.

The study found private renters saved on average £2,180 in 2012 – meaning it would take over a decade to reach the average first-time buyer deposit of £27,984. To save enough for the average home buyer deposit overall, it would take 23 years.

Only 29% of renters were actively saving for a deposit, the research found.

Scottish Widows head of savings and investments Iain McGowan said: “We live in a society where many strive to own their own homes but, for many people facing high rent and increasing living costs, this isn’t going to be achievable.

“Whilst this is concerning, what is most worrying is that over a third of renters have no savings at all and are leaving themselves vulnerable in the short and long terms.

“The importance of saving goes much further than getting on the property ladder, as a healthy savings pot can provide an invaluable buffer for the unexpected or tough times. Whilst owning a property is seen for many as something to work towards, we need to ensure that people are able to manage their out-goings, whether rent or a mortgage, and create that safety-net for unexpected bumps in the road.”

On average, private renters managed to save less than half the amount saved by those who were not paying private sector rents.

They were 50% more likely than average to have no savings at all. Nearly three-quarters identified having no money available as a significant barrier to their ability to save.

Of those who were saving, one in five said they were only saving for the short-term.

The report also highlighted the importance of family financial support, with two-fifths of family members saying they had lent or given a relative a substantial amount of money.

After living expenses, a deposit for a house was the most common use of this financial support.

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