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Mortgages and deposits: the basics

How much deposit do you need for a mortgage?

By Marie Kemplay

Article 2 of 4

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How much deposit do you need for a mortgage?

Find out how much you should save for a deposit, and use our calculator to see how long it will take.

The size of your deposit is really important for getting a good mortgage deal, or even getting a mortgage at all.

More than half of the first-time home buyers in the 2015 Which? national property survey said they put a deposit of more than 10% towards their first property. The survey also revealed that the average first-time buyer deposit is 17%. But how much do you actually need to save?

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.

Saving for a deposit can seem like a daunting task. To give you an idea of how much you'll have to put away each year, we've made a calculator that'll tell you how long it'll take to gather enough money for a 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

Video: how much to save for a mortgage deposit

In the video below, TV property expert Jonnie Irwin explains how much money you'll need to save for a mortgage deposit, as well as how much extra you may be able to borrow from your mortgage lender. 

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.

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. The average (mean) mortgage deposit for first-time buyers is 17%, and that in itself is too difficult for some. 

Don't worry though – you still have options if you're struggling to save:

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 property websites, such as Rightmove or Zoopla, but speak to local estate agents to get the most accurate information.
  • How much can you afford in repayments each month? The mortgage repayment calculator on our home-buying hub will help you work this out. You can also find typical mortgage rates using the Which? Money Compare mortgage tables

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 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 £40 to £910, 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.

  • Last updated: April 2017
  • Updated by: Gareth Shaw

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Which? Limited (registered in England and Wales number 00677665) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited (registered in England and Wales number 07239342). Which? Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Registered office: 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF.