Londoners may need 121 years to save for their first home

Published by Hannah Nemeth on 27 October 2016.
Last updated on 27 October 2016

A would-be first-time buyer on a median salary of £34,320 a year would have to wait 121 years to save 10% of their net annual salary towards the deposit on an average priced flat in London, new research has revealed.

The study by residential crowdfunding platform Property Partner looked at a singleton saving 10%, 20%, and 50% of their net annual salary towards a deposit and how long it would take before they could afford a flat in different boroughs in London. It assumed that a buyer would be securing a mortgage of four times their £34,320 annual salary, which is £137,320. The deposit they would need to save would be the average price of a flat in that borough, minus £137,280.

In the most expensive borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it would take 389 years to save a £1 million deposit. Those who could save half of their salary after tax would still have to wait 78 years to put down a deposit for an averaged priced flat of £1.16 million.


Even in the most affordable borough, a first-time buyer on £34,320 would have to wait decades to buy their first property. In Barking and Dagenham, where the average flat is the cheapest in London at £219,563, a first-time buyer would need to wait 31 years to save the deposit.

Dan Gandesha, chief executive and founder of Property Partner, says: “It’s staggering that if you have no help from family or friends and you hope to buy on your own, it’s now almost impossible to afford anywhere in London. Even in the 10 most affordable boroughs, you’d need to be saving an ambitious 20% of your net annual salary to stand a chance of getting the deposit together before you reached middle age.

“With record low interest rates and inflation rising, savers are seeing their money slowly erode. And if you’re also worried that property prices are running away from you, there are of course alternative ways of investing and tracking the market.

“The housing market is broken and we need a major shift in thinking. The British obsession with owning their own home is now for many, at least in London, a pipe dream. More needs to be done to incentivise the private rental sector. In Germany, long-term renting is generally accepted and the cohort of long-term renters in the UK is growing, by force of circumstance.

“Build-to-rent is one of many ideas to help solve the UK’s housing crisis, and the quicker we can provide good quality, professionally managed homes, for both the public and private lettings sector, the better.”

The following table shows the London boroughs where it would take the most number of years to save the deposit for an average price flat:

Boroughs Average price of flat Deposit needed Years saving 10% of net salary Years saving 20% of net salary Years saving 50% of net salary
Kensington and Chelsea £1,168,220 £1,030,940 389 194 78
Westminster £909,799 £772,519 291 146 58
City of London £860,850 £723,570 273 136 55
Wandsworth £860,850 £723,570 273 136 55
Camden £719,779 £582,499 220 110 44
Hammersmith and Fulham £692,201 £554,921 209 105 42
Islington £602,556 £465,276 176 88 35
Hackney £522,130 £384,850 145 73 29
Richmond upon Thames £480,576 £343,296 130 65 26
Lambeth £471,546 £334,266 126 63 25














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