Single and looking to buy your first home? You’ve probably come up a bit short...

Property finance
Property finance

Single homebuyers have to find an extra £24,000 to afford their first property, according to new figures.

The latest data from Move with Us following a survey of 175 estate agents across Britain demonstrated that couples aged between 21 and 40 are the biggest buying group, making up 45 per cent of the current buying market.

Families make up 29 per cent of the market and couples aged between 41 and 65 account for another 20 per cent.

But categories for single people in any age group came bottom of the list, making up a total of just 2.8 per cent of buyers.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average wage in Britain is £26,500. The most any potential home owner can borrow for a mortgage is 4.5 times their annual wage.

Based on the average wage in Britain of £26,500, the most a typical singleton can borrow is £119,250. With the average national price of a flat – a typical property for a first time buyer – currently at £158,872 with a 10% deposit, this leaves a £23,735 (15 per cent) shortfall.

Move With Us director Robin King said: “Average wages in Britain have increased 1.6 per cent in the last year according to the ONS, compared with a 5.4 per cent increase in the price of a flat. If property prices increase at a higher rate than wages, then of course, affordability is reduced.

“Bearing this in mind, it’s no real surprise that the first-time buyer market has changed over the last few years. Being priced out of the market means that many so called ‘singletons’ are choosing to stay at home or rent for longer.

“Many potential homeowners are reliant on the bank of mum and dad to make up the deficit. More of an effort should be placed on creating affordable housing.

“Shared ownership is a feasible government incentive that people who are struggling to afford a home should give serious consideration.

“Both new builds and older properties are available with shared ownership which allows owners to rent part and buy part of a property. Home owners can always buy more shares of the property later on.”