It Will Take You 24 Years To Save For A Deposit To Buy A House, Says Study

New research finds that a total of 28 per cent of non-homeowners under the age of 45 do not believe they will ever afford to buy a property of their own

It Will Take You 24 Years To Save For A Deposit To Buy A House, Says Study

by Vicky Spratt |
Published on

Another day, another bit of bad news about Britain’s housing market. Sorry, everyone.

Today the average British homebuyer must save for 24 years in order to rack up enough to be able to put down a deposit on their first home.

That’s up from just three years on average to save back in 1997.

According to new research the average person saving 5% of their disposable income each year could have to wait nearly a quarter of a century in order to get on to the property ladder.

The Resolution Foundation think tank used the Bank of England’s latest household finances survey to discover just how big an issue rising house prices were for first-time buyers.

Their study suggests that Chancellor George Osborne’s various ‘Help to Buy’ schemes have not actually help ‘turn generation rent into generation buy.’

The think tank’s chief economist, Matt Whittaker, told The Guardian: ‘To the extent that these schemes have stoked demand and so propped up house prices in recent years, they have served to make homeownership even less attainable for many, while increasing the gains flowing to older homeowners who have been the main beneficiaries of the sustained housing boom.’

The research also says that 28% of non-homeowners under the age of 45 do not believe they will ever afford to buy.

This figure increased to 39% when looking at the poorest fifth of the UK’s population.

The fact is that, these days, the housing market in this country is barely recognisable compared to what it once was. In fact, many argue that it’s toally broken.

Let’s not forget that an English man’s (!) home is supposed to be his (!) castle, Britain is traditionally a nation of homeowners. This familiar phrase is now rather outdated. But, as our obsession with owning property shows, we still value it; we are taught that buying a house is something that we should aspire to and that you’ve only ‘made it’ once you’ve accomplished this.

Renting was once the mainstay of the few, of the very poorest and most vulnerable people in society. However, today, that’s just simply no longer the case.

Levels of homeownership have actually gone into reverse after years of rises that were fuelled, largely, by Margaret Thatcher’s right-to-buy initiative and the deregulation of the mortgage-lending business.

Today more people than ever before are renting. A report, conducted by economists at accountancy firm PwC earlier this year, predicted that by 2025, a quarter of all households will be renting privately and that the biggest increase will be seen among those aged between 20 and 39, where ‘a clear majority’ will be private tenants within the next decade.

Renting privately is now the norm, particularly amongst younger generations in this country and, unfortunately, this most recent survey serves to further enforce that fact.

It’s time that those in power stopped solely trying to help people buy and looked at sorting out the renting market, because since Ed Miliband (remember him) brought it up before the election nobody’s really been talking about overhauling renter’s rights, bringing in rent controls or sorting out the complete sham that is estate agents’ fees.

This is a conversation that we really need to be having because successive governments have failed to build enough houses for our growing population or that more people than ever now rent (48% of 24-35 year olds compared to 21% 10 years ago) because house prices have soared while wages have stagnated.

1997 was a long time ago. Not only could you save for a deposit in three years, it was a time when people still liked Tony Blair, a year when the UK won the Eurovision song contest, a time, before X Factor, when people actually cared about the Eurovision song contest, and it was the year that the first Harry Potter book came out.

Things are different now. We are Generation Rent, the struggle is very real and policy needs to start to reflect that. Renting needs to be made more stable for those who have no other choice.

You might also be interested in:

Converted Garages And 50-Deep Queues Of People: The Reality Of Trying To Rent In London Right Now

Is This A Prison Or A Flat For Rent?

London's Rents Are Rising And So Are The Creeps

Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us