Decade to save deposit

Nearly half (47 percent) of prospective first-time buyers expect it will take 10 years or more to save a deposit for their first property, according to Post Office Mortgages.

Would-be buyers living in the south-east and south-west have most difficulty with raising a deposit, with 65 percent and 56 percent respectively anticipating it will take 10 years or more to raise a deposit. Meanwhile, 47 percent of Londoners say it will take them much longer to get the funds together.

The research reveals 35 is now the average age a prospective homebuyer expects to buy their first home, rising steadily since the 1960s. Those who bought their first home in the early 1960s were on average just 24.

Scots buck the 30-something first-time buyer trend. They don’t expect to get their foot on the ladder until they are at least 40, while all other regions expect to buy their first home in their thirties.

The biggest barrier first-time buyers face is finding it hard to raise a deposit unless their circumstances change, such as getting a better paid job or inheriting some money (32 percent), and not being able to afford the mortgage repayments (18 percent). This is perhaps an unfounded worry as, on average, renters in the UK pay £876 more a year than the average homeowner with mortgage payments and mortgage rates are historically low.

Nearly one-third (29 percent) would be encouraged to buy a home if they were offered more government assistance and almost a fifth (19 percent) said a reintroduction of no stamp duty for first-time buyers would help them get a foot on the property ladder. Hitting important milestones in life such as getting married (12 percent) or starting a family (12 percent) are also triggers for non-homeowners to buy their first property.