17 Nov 2022

First Time Buyers cut back in struggle to escape renting

A new study from Rightmove reveals what aspiring first-time buyers are most likely to cut back on in a bid to escape renting. 

The portal says that despite affordability concerns, would-be first-time buyers are making lifestyle changes to be able to save more of their income towards a deposit on a first home.

Reducing spending on going out (72 per cent), using less gas and electricity at home (55 per cent), spending less on holidays (49 per cent), cutting the amount they spend on a food shop (48 per cent) and cancelling subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime (35 per cent) are the most common ways first-time buyers are cutting back to save more towards a deposit.

Further emphasising the importance of saving as much as possible, only 16 per cent of aspiring first-time buyers said all or part of their deposit would be raised by getting a loan or a gift from friends and family.

The study found that on average, it is taking a first-time buyer five years to save up their deposit. For many, that means renting as well as saving.

Meanwhile, the average monthly mortgage payment for a new first-time buyer taking out a two-year fixed mortgage at 90 per cent Loan-to-Value is now £1,324, some 41 per cent  higher than the average monthly rental payment of £940 following mortgage interest rate rises.

The average monthly mortgage payment for new first-time buyers taking out a 75 per cent LTV mortgage is £1,082, which is 15 per cent higher than the equivalent average monthly rental payment, highlighting the difference in monthly payments for those that can afford to save up a bigger deposit.

Rightmove spokesperson Tim Bannister says: “The sudden nature of mortgage interest rate increases has meant that first-time buyers have had to very quickly reassess their position. For example, those who already had a mortgage offer in place are trying to rush through their purchase to keep their lower rate. Many of those who had not yet secured an offer and found that the monthly repayments they would pay on a mortgage were a lot more expensive than planned, either had to budget for the extra costs, look for a cheaper property and borrow less, or pause their plans altogether.

“Now that mortgage rates have started to settle down, first-time buyers will be hoping that there are no surprises in today’s Autumn budget, and they can begin to get some longer-term assurance and financial certainty after what has been a turbulent and very uncertain two months.

“Despite the many significant challenges facing first-time buyers at the moment, the fact that demand in the sector is still above the last normal market of 2019 shows that there are many motivated first-time buyers right now who are still determined to get onto the ladder. For those without their deposit saved yet, the results of our first-time buyer study indicate that buying a first home remains very important to people. They are not being put off saving due to the current economic climate, and instead are making decisions in order to save as much as they can towards a deposit.”

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