Broken Ladder 3 - South East

11 Feb, 2013

the Locked out Generation

 ‘time to save a deposit in the South east nearly triples in a decade’

Government backed schemes increasingly providing lifeline in desperate times

On average in the SE saving a deposit will now take 89 monthsA decade ago it took 34 monthsFirst time buyer numbers have plummeted by 64% in 10 yearsGovernment schemes increasingly important to help families get on to the property ladder


Funding for Lending Scheme is increasing lendingGovernment backed Newbuy and Firstbuy schemes are helping more families get on to the property ladder

New research released today starkly illustrates the scale of the challenge faced by today’s young people wishing to buy a home – and how much the situation has deteriorated in the last decade.

However, there is some hope emerging for people looking to buy. The Government’s Funding for Lending scheme has resulted in some thawing in the mortgage market and Government-backed schemes such as Newbuy and Firstbuy are providing a lifeline for an increasing number of people who would otherwise be excluded from home ownership.

On average in the South East, somebody in their 20s wanting to purchase the average first time buyer home (£195,726) would have to save a deposit of £39,145. Even saving 33% of their net income it would take them nearly 7 years 5 months to put together the necessary deposit. In 2002, a person in the same circumstances would have saved a deposit in under three years.

The reality is even harsher. When you factor in the costs of paying rent, utility bills and council tax, while trying to save a deposit, the scale of the challenge faced by today’s young people becomes apparent. For potential first time buyers in their twenties saving half of their discretionary net income (that is, net income after paying council tax, rent, energy and water bills) it will take on average in the South East nearly 13 years to put together a deposit for their first home.

This increasing ‘deposit gap’ has seen the number of FTBs plummet and created a Locked-out Generation. In the five years to 2002 the number of first time buyers in England averaged 543,000 each year. In the last five years to 2012 that number has collapsed to 197,000.  

The figures are revealed in HBF’s latest Broken Ladder report – ‘The Locked-out Generation - A decade of decline and the deposit gap’. It is the third such report to be published and identifies the increasing lack of accessibility to the housing market at a time when supply is critically low.

Newbuy, allows people to buy a new build home with a 5% deposit. This cuts the average FTB deposit to a more realistic £9,786. More than 3,000 people have reserved a home through NewBuy already and the first few weeks of 2013 have seen a big increase in the weekly number of reservations as more people become aware of the scheme and, crucially, lenders cut interest rates.

FirstBuy, the Gvmnt/Industry funded shared equity scheme that also allows people to buy with a 5% deposit had helped over 10,000 before running out of funds. After pressure from the housing sector, and realising its critical importance, Government has extended the scheme deadline and allocated further funds that will help an additional 16,500 people buy their own home.

Stewart Baseley, HBF Executive Chairman, said today:

“This report reveals the extent of our housing crisis and the challenge faced by today’s young people. Unlike previous generations that took home ownership for granted, today’s generation have a mountain to climb if they wish to own their own home. We are creating a locked out generation.

“However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel and there are now several ways for people to buy with a more normal deposit. Government backed schemes such as Newbuy are offering real options for people looking to buy – or move home – and we are seeing more and more take advantage.”

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 / 07919 307 760 or

Notes to Editors:

1.     The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s 300 member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies:

broken ladder 3 - the locked out generation