Debt doesn’t help first-time buyers

For some in the capital, it could be another six years and two months before they have gathered together enough money for a deposit on a property, as an average of £25,183 is required.

The ‘spend now, pay later’ attitude to finances that seems to prevail at the moment means the situation is only marginally better in regions such as the south-east and south-west.

David Newman, director of marketing at the Co-operative Bank, commented: “This reveals the problems new home buyers face in what is clearly for many a marathon rather than a sprint when running up a decent deposit.”

The figures also suggest that with such a long wait ahead for first-time buyers, they could put themselves into financial difficulties by turning to 100 per cent or interest-only mortgages as an alternative.

ClearDebt chief executive, David Mond, thought that the research probably rather underplayed the problem: “Not only would the average London couple probably find it challenging to save the more than £300 per month that the survey indicates is needed for deposit, but by the time their nest egg has hatched property price inflation is likely to have moved their goal well beyond their reach.

“No wonder the unaffordable 100 per cent mortgage seems so attractive – even though it can presage financial difficulties.”