Potential buyers in the South East and South West of England need to save for at least 13 years before they will be able to afford a 15 per cent deposit on a property, new research reveals.
Decades of saving
Estate agent Hamptons International looked at the average wages in each region across England and Wales to determine how long it would take potential homeowners to save for a 15 per cent deposit, if they were saving 22 per cent of their salary each month.
London topped the table with single prospective buyers having to save the longest, at an average of 15 years and nine months.
The South East and South West of England also proved to be particularly difficult areas for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder, with people having to save for at least 13 years before being able to buy a home.
Those living in the North fared much better than the South in terms of affordability, with the time to save for a deposit typically around four or five years less.
Prospective buyers in the North East can save for a deposit in half the time of those in the South East and South West, with the average time to save being six years and six months.
Buyers in Yorkshire and the Humber also fared better than those in the South, at an average of eight years to save.
Time to save for a 15 per cent deposit by region, for single buyers:
- East - 11 years
- East Midlands - 9 years
- London - 15 years, 9 months
- North East - 6 years, 6 months
- North West - 8 years, 6 months
- South East - 13 years, 6 months
- South West - 13 years
- Wales - 8 years, 6 months
- West Midlands - 9 years, 3 months
- Yorkshire and the Humber - 8 years, 0 months
- England and Wales - 10 years, 3 months
Time to save for a 15 per cent deposit by region, for couples:
- East - 5 years, 0 months
- East Midlands - 4 years, 0 months
- London - 7 years, 6 months
- North East - 2 years, 9 months
- North West - 3 years, 6 months
- South East - 5 years, 9 months
- South West - 3 years, 6 months
- Wales - 4 years, 0 months
- West Midlands - 3 years, 6 months
- Yorkshire and the Humber - 3 years, 6 months
- England and Wales - 4 years, 9 months
Things are improving
The latest figures are based on the final quarter of 2018 and show that things have improved for first-time buyers over the past two years, with most regions seeing homes become slightly more affordable.
Although it still takes a single person an average of 10 years to save up for a deposit.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: "Saving a deposit is still the biggest barrier to buying a home, but things did improve in 2018.
"Slowing house price growth – which is expected to continue – combined with rising wages, meant that last year it was six months quicker to save for a home than it was two years earlier.
"However, despite the slight improvement in affordability it still takes a single person more than a decade to save up to buy a home."