How much deposit do you need for a mortgage?
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.
However, the bigger the deposit you can save, the better. More than half of the first-time home buyers in the Which? national property survey said they put a deposit of more than 10% towards their first property, and the average amount was 17%.
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.
How much deposit will you need in cash terms?
To calculate how much you’ll need to save for your mortgage deposit in cash terms, 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?
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 or investigate schemes such as Help to Buy.
Mortgage deposit calculator
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 created a calculator that'll tell you how long it'll take to gather enough money for a deposit.
Your options if you're struggling to save
Help is at hand if you're struggling to save up a big enough deposit for your first home. Why not investigate the following options?
- Help to Buy equity loan - you put in a deposit of 5%, the government lends you 20% (40% in London), and you get a mortgage to cover the rest
- Shared ownership - you buy a share of the property (25%-75%) and pay rent on the rest
- Buy a house with your friends - it's not without its risks but works brilliantly for some
- Get help from your parents or family members - they don't necessarily need to gift you cash towards your deposit, there are other options
- Help to Buy Isa - a savings account offering a 25% bonus from the government when you buy your first home
- Lifetime Isa - another account offering a 25% government bonus, although for this option you need to be aged under 40 and can't access your savings or the bonus until you've had the account for at least a year
Map: how much deposit are first-time buyers in your area putting down?
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.
Correct as of date of publication.
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