New research from Persimmon Homes shows why Brits need help to buy

Hard-pressed Brits are being forced to rent for an average of four years before they can afford to buy their first home, new research from Britain’s biggest house builder shows today.

In the most extreme cases, people have been renting for up to 40 years and handed over a staggering £150,000 to landlords before getting their hands on their first home, the research by Persimmon Homes shows.

Persimmon says the figures show how important high-profile new schemes such as Help to Buy are in making home owning more affordable.

Key findings from the research show:

  • The average Brit rents for four years before buying their first home – though some buyers had been renting for 40 years.
  • Almost a quarter of people (22 per cent) bought their first home between the ages of 25 and 28, but 17 per cent were over the age of 32.
  • Up to 60 per cent of people took between one and three years to save enough to enable them to buy a new home, with over a quarter making financial sacrifices to do so.
  • On average an estimated £18,000 is spent by each individual before they buy their first house.
  • People start planning their financial futures at 22.
  • 33 per cent of people wished they had started saving earlier to buy a home.
  • More than three quarters of people (80 per cent) learnt the value of saving from their parents.

Chris Heney, director in charge of Persimmon South East, said the research showed just how difficult many people found it to take their first steps on the property ladder:

“This research shows just how important getting on the property ladder is to most people in this country – and just how difficult it is.

“It is clear that very many Britons find it extremely difficult to buy their first home and face years in rented accommodation as a result.

“That is why the recent success of the Help to Buy scheme – and other initiatives to open up home ownership – is so important. There have been 12,500 new homes reserved nationally in the last five months with Help to Buy, which is a remarkable figure.

“The scheme is proving a real lifeline to homebuyers across the region who are either buying for the first time or looking to move up the property ladder and want to make sure their money buys them as much space as possible.

“Help to Buy is helping end the misery of the so-called Forgotten Families, who face the prospect of years in rented accommodation because they cannot afford a deposit. That is good news for each of those families and the economy as a whole.”

Help to Buy was launched by Chancellor George Osborne in this year’s budget and allows buyers to secure their home with a five per cent deposit and 75 per cent mortgage. The remaining 20 per cent is made up of a Government-backed equity home loan, which is interest and repayment free for the first five years.

Persimmon Homes South East has developments across the region, including sites in Thanet, Hellingly and Dartford.