Mortgage deposit explained How much deposit do I need for a mortgage?

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The size of your mortgage deposit will dictate the kind of mortgage deal you can have

The size of your mortgage deposit will make a real difference to the best mortgage deal you can find, and even whether you can get a mortgage at all. We explain how much deposit you need to save, and how to get the best mortgage for you.

Minimum mortgage deposit

In the current mortgage market you’ll need a deposit of at least 5% of a property’s value to get a mortgage. A lender would then lend you 95% of the property’s value.

So, if you wanted to buy a £150,000 property you would need to save up at least £7,500 and borrow £142,500.

But 5% is just the minimum; there are a few different reasons why you would usually be better off with a bigger mortgage deposit.

If you'd like to speak to an expert who will look at your personal circumstances and then assess the entire mortgage market and recommend the best deal for you, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987.

Reasons to save a bigger mortgage deposit

1. Cheaper mortgage repayments – it might sound obvious, but the bigger your mortgage deposit, the smaller your loan will be. And the smaller your loan is, the cheaper your monthly repayments are.

2. Less risky – if you own more of your home outright you are less likely to fall into ‘negative equity’, where you owe more on your mortgage than your property is worth. Being in negative equity can make moving house or switching mortgage very difficult.

3. Better mortgage deals – a larger deposit will make you less risky for mortgage lenders. As a result, they'll generally offer you more competitive mortgage deals with lower interest rates.

4. Better mortgage chances – all lenders conduct affordability checks to work out whether you can afford mortgage repayments based on your income and your outgoings. If you only put down a small deposit it’s more likely you will fail these checks because you'll need to spend more on your mortgage each month.

Find out more: compare mortgages with Which? Money Compare

Mortgage deposits for the best mortgage deals

The cheapest mortgage deals on the market will typically require you to have a 40% deposit or more, so on a £150,000 property this would mean a deposit of £60,000. 

However, saving up a 40% deposit is unrealistic for many people. According to Which? research conducted in 2015, the average (mean) mortgage deposit for first-time buyers is 17%, and that in itself is too difficult for some. 

If you're struggling to save a big enough deposit but are keen to get onto the property sooner rather than later, it might be worth considering shared ownership, Help to Buy or a guarantor mortgage, all of which are explained in our first-time buyer mortgages guide.

How much deposit do I need? 

To calculate how much you’ll need to save for your mortgage deposit, there are two things you should consider:

  • Typical property prices in your area – you can get a rough idea of this from websites such as Rightmove or Zoopla, but speak to local estate agents to get the most accurate information. 

Start by assuming you would borrow 95% of the property's value. If you can't afford the repayments for a loan of that size, you will need to save a bigger deposit. 

Buying a house: extra costs

Although the mortgage deposit is the biggest part of the overall costs that you’ll need to pay to buy a home, there are other things you will need to budget for as well when saving up, including:

  • Stamp duty: this is a tiered tax that you'll need to pay on any property costing over £125,000 - you can work out how much you'll pay using our stamp duty calculator
  • Mortgage arrangement fees: while these are sometimes waived to entice you in, lenders will often charge anything up to £2,000 to arrange your mortgage
  • Legal fees: you'll need to appoint a solicitor to arrange the purchase of your property. Costs vary between firms, and can range from a few hundred pounds to more than £1,000
  • Property survey: these can range from £100 to more than £1,000
  • Land registry fees: these can range from £50 to £920, depending on the value of the property

Find out more: the cost of buying a house - a more detailed look at what you'll need to budget for

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Which Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.