Affordability for buying homes is a serious issue, particularly within London, which puts those wishing to purchase their first property under a significant amount of pressure. This leaves many prospective buyers facing tough decisions that go beyond cutting back on the luxuries in life, while trying to gather a deposit.
Affordability constraints and high property prices have meant that many living within the capital have no alternative but to rent. However, those wishing to take their first step onto the property ladder can do so typically within five years by choosing to rent a room within a house share, rather than renting their own property.
This is according to new research conducted by Ideal Flatmate, the flat and house share platform, who analysed the amount of money that could be saved by the average tenant in each borough by choosing to rent a single room rather than renting a one bedroom apartment themselves.
The platform then took into account the required 10 per cent mortgage deposit of the average first time buyer house price within each borough, before comparing how long this would take using the savings from sharing property.
Across the capital, a one bedroom property on average costs £1,300 a month, but in comparison, a room will cost just £600. This results in a £700 saving each month, amounting to £8,400 saved each year. With the average property price for first time buyers currently amounting to £412,679, it would take approximately 4.9 years to save the required 10 per cent mortgage deposit of £41,267.
The borough which is the most cost-effective to rent a room in was identified as Hounslow, with a monthly rent of £596, on average. In comparison, the average flat with one bedroom would cost £1,300 a month to rent.
Newham, Tower Hamlets, Ealing and Enfield all provided sufficient savings to ensure that tenants could save a deposit for a mortgage in under five years while living in these boroughs.
In contrast, tenants living in Kensington and Chelsea would require on average 10.4 years to save a mortgage deposit which would be large enough to buy a property. In order to achieve this, the first time buyer would have to live in a flat or house share while their rental savings accumulate, in order to afford the extremely high property prices within the borough.
Ideal Flatmate’s co-founder, Tom Gatzen, has stated that the financial obstacle of transitioning to homeowner from tenant in London is substantial, especially when taking into account the lack of appropriate rental housing available. This is one of the most significant factors currently creating a strain on London’s rental market.
For many, the only option available when living in London is to rent one room in a flat or house share, given that there is also a high possibility that house prices in the city will rise higher than their current value in four or five years.
Despite the idea that saving for a deposit for a mortgage seems impossible, this research shows that if tenants think outside the box, and make lifestyle adjustments, the mammoth task of saving for their first home can be achieved without compromising on the borough that they would like to live in.
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