According to new research from national lender Abbey, it is now actually cheaper for potential first time buyers in the UK to purchase a property than to continue renting. The only exception to this is in London, where it would still work out more expensive to get a first time buyer mortgage than it would be to remain a tenant.
The research found that 1.61 million Britons were looking to buy in areas outside of London, and based on today's first time buyer mortgage rates, the people surveyed would save £624 each or a collective £1 billion over the next 12 months if they did decide to buy a place of their own. Unfortunately for those based in the capital looking to get onto the property ladder, the fact that house prices are still at a premium means that they would actually be £466.19 worse off per month by choosing to buy rather than rent.
For the potential first time buyers outside London, the average monthly rent comes to £434. First time buyer mortgages, as they stand in the market today, would cost an average of £382 per month if taken out with a 25 per cent deposit - a saving of £52 per month. Of course if you are able to put more upfront capital into your property in the form of a larger deposit, your savings could be even greater.
Across the UK, typical first time buyer properties (new-build flats and terraced houses) now cost an average of £92,861, a decrease of 9 per cent from last year. Therefore, if you were looking to take advantage of these lower prices, you would need an average deposit of £23,215 (or 25 per cent) for a first time buyer mortgage. It's particularly good news for potential first time buyers living in Wales, where you would make an average monthly saving of £90.91. This is followed by the North West (£87.43) and Yorkshire (£77.06). Buying a place in East Anglia as opposed to renting would save you a fairly disappointing £2.59 per month.
As the mortgage market is so competitive, many lenders will offer you free valuation and legal fees with first time buyer mortgages, so you should make sure that you shop around to see who can offer you the best deal. If you have a deposit totaling 25 per cent or more of the value of the property you wish to buy, you are hot property for mortgage providers, so if you don't have sufficient savings yet but you want to buy a place, get started as soon as possible. Consider an ISA for tax-free savings or a savings account where you have limited access to your money, as these types of saving usually yield the highest returns.
To find out more about first time buyer mortgages, and talk to an experienced adviser from the SimplyFinance network about your options for getting a mortgage, simply fill out our short first time buyer form and an adviser will be in touch shortly.