The financial consequences of Covid may have pushed back the average age of a first time buyer (FTB) by nearly two years, according to calculations by GetAgent.co.uk.
The firm argues that with an average gross salary standing at just over £31,000, anyone who joined the government furlough scheme during Covid will have retained an income of almost £32,000 over the 19 months during which she was active.
This represents a loss of nearly £8,000.
GetAgent.co.uk assumes a savings rate of 20% of net income per month – £377 – to collect a 15% deposit of £30,000, which was, in 2020, the average amount an FTB has deposit.
This meant that before Covid, the average FTB took 6.6 years to collect a deposit, until the age of 32.
Covid losses add another 1.8 years to that, bringing the average age to almost 34.
GetAgent.co.uk concludes that the previously mentioned £8,000 loss adds another 1.8 years to that, bringing the first time someone has bought a house to almost 34 years.
Despite these difficulties, earlier this month Barclays reported that the number of FTBs across the UK had doubled in 2021, with an average deposit of £61,100. However, this cohort also had an average income of £50,800.
Founder and Managing Director Colby Short says: “Buying that first home has always been one of life’s milestones and lately it has become particularly difficult to achieve due to the ever-increasing prices of real estate, with FTBs saving much longer simply to amass enough to secure a mortgage deposit.
“The pandemic will have only added to this difficulty and those who have been laid off, or worse made redundant, will have seen their journey to homeownership become all the longer due to a reduction in their income and their ability to save.