Today's generation of FTBs six times less likely to find deposit than parents

Warren Lewis
13th June 2018

A new survey covering 2,000 potential homebuyers has found that 1 in 3 are struggling to save up a deposit compared to only 1 in 20 who bought 20-30 years ago.

The research by self-storage company, Space Station, revealed that 33% currently saving for a home said they had been forced to delay by the challenge of saving a deposit, only 5%who bought their first home between 1988 and 1998 reported the same struggle.

House prices have increased far above the rate of inflation over the last 30 years. The average house price in 1988 was £45,000, which is equivalent to £117k in today’s money. Yet today, the average house costs just under £210,000 - almost twice the price in real terms

Although this may have been good for some people already on the housing ladder, it has massively changed first time buyer’s habits over the years, though not necessarily in the way that might be expected. As, far from leading to the younger generation downgrading their expectations, it has simply led to them spending longer saving up, prehaps to ensure they make more of a long-term purchase.

According to the figures, 42% of people currently saving to buy a house want their first home to have its own driveway, 38% want a large garden and 35% have set their sights on a detached or semi-detached house. Among people who bought their home 20-30 years ago, only 30% had a driveway, 21% had a large garden and only 29% purchased a detached or semi-detached house over a terraced property.

The research also revealed that only 3% of people who bought houses between 1988 and 1998 said they saved for longer to buy a better property, compared to 24% of people planning to buy a house today. And while only 7% lived with their parents while they saved for a deposit 20-30 years ago, some 16% now do this.

Most desired features in a first home today

1. Driveway (42%)
2. Large garden (38%)
3. Three bedrooms or more (38%)
4. Semi-detached (35%)
5. Garage (23%)

Jessica McDonnell, 27, from Leeds recently bought a house with her husband after five years of renting together and said: “I think the younger generation definitely have it harder when it comes to saving for a house and we are having to make a lot of just to get on the housing ladder.

When we were told by our landlord that he was selling the home we were living in, we realised how much money we had been wasting renting a property and how easy it could be to lose our home in the future. We spent a year trying to save up as much money as we could by stopping going on holiday, cutting down our food bills and stopping our luxuries such as going out for food. We also both took on extra work to supplement our income.”

When my parents bought our family home in the 1980s, they were offered a 100% mortgage and were able to buy a large three-bedroom house, whereas we were a bit more limited by saving for a deposit and were happy to be able to afford a two bedroom property. It’s a very different world for young people today.”

Vlatka Lake, Marketing Manager at Space Station, said: “We help a lot of Brits with their house move when they require storage, so we know all too well about the struggles and sacrifices people have to make in order to buy their first home.

As the prices of houses shoot up, it’s not surprising to see so many people renting or living with their parents and struggling to save a deposit. It just shows how attitudes to buying a house have really changed over the years and how hard it is for first time buyers today”.

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