UK first time buyers spend tens of thousands on rent before buying, study shows

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First time buyers spend on rent first before purchase

Potential property buyers in the UK face spending £81,300 on rent over 16 years before purchasing their first home, according to new research.

And in pricey areas such as London, the typical first time could spend £308,500 on rent in their lifetime, 20% more than the £257,250 typically spent buying a first property in the capital.

Even first time buyers who get parental support will spend £36,471 in rent before they purchase their first home, the study from property website FindaProperty.com shows.

Regional variations are substantial with those in the south of the country paying considerably more over a longer period of time before they are able to purchase their first home.

London has the country’s highest rental costs and first time buyers will spend an average 31 years renting before they are able to buy their first property, spending more in the process than they would on their first property. A Londoner buying a home without any financial support from their family can expect to spend £308,558 as a renter, a fifth more than the typical cost of a first home in the capital.
Buyers in the North of England can expect to pay a lot less on their rental costs, due to lower rents and less time spent saving for a deposit. A first time buyer in the North East can expect to spend £32,181 renting in their lifetime, almost a tenth of that spent by their counterparts in the capital.

‘Adding up the amount people typically spend on rent in a lifetime is a real eye opener. But the reality is that, because of the lack of lending from banks to first time buyers, there’s a growing number of people who will have to rent for an extended period of time,’ said Samantha Baden, property analyst for FindaProperty.

‘This is probably most keenly felt in the capital, where higher rental and housing costs, as much as triple those in the north, mean that more and more people are coming round to the idea of being a lifetime renter. In fact many of these people are choosing to focus on the upside of renting, appreciating the greater freedom that comes with not being tied to a mortgage for years to come and having a landlord pay for maintenance,’ she added.

The study found that young buyers have become more dependent than ever on support if they wish to get onto the property ladder. Between 2006 and 2009, the number of assisted first time buyers increased by around 1% to 80,700, while the number of people buying their first home without financial assistance plummeted 83% to just 20,200.

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