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How much deposit are first-time buyers in your area paying?

Average first-time buyer deposits range from £13,700 to £175,000 by area

First-time buyers are having to put down deposits of over £100,000 in an increasing number of areas, new research has found.

Analysing real deposit data from lender Halifax in almost every local authority in the UK, we’ve discovered that, in 19 local authorities, some people buying their first home are putting down six-figure deposits , with London’s Camden topping the charts at an average £174,974 – 28% of the property price.

At the other end of the spectrum those purchasing in Barrow-in-Furness are paying out less than anywhere else in the UK: first-time buyer deposits in the Cumbrian borough average just £13,701, or 12% of the property price.

You can find out what’s happening in your area with our map, below.

  • If you’re hoping to buy your first home soon and want impartial advice on how much deposit you’ll need, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987

London first-time buyers paying over the odds

As ever, first-time buyers in the capital are paying more than anywhere else in the country – in fact London boroughs occupy the 12 top spots on the list, compiled by Halifax.

After Camden, Wandsworth (£155,811), Islington (£148,558) and Lambeth (£139,915) command the highest up-front payments.

The number of areas with an average deposit size above £100,000 has increased from 17 when the research was last carried out in May 2017 to 19 now.

Table: top 10 most expensive areas for first-time buyers by deposit size

Local authority area Average deposit (£) Average deposit (%)
1 Camden £174,974 28%
2 Wandsworth £155,811 28%
3 Islington £148,558 26%
4 Lambeth £139,915 30%
5 Barnet £133,091 30%
6 Hammersmith and Fulham £133,080 28%
7 Hackney £132,563 27%
8 Southwark £131,189 28%
9 Richmond upon Thames £130,758 24%
10 Westminster £128,260 19%

Only four areas outside London – Winchester (£109,060), Cambridge (£107,084), Guildford (£104,392) and Elmbridge (£102,994) – saw average deposits of over £100,000.

Table: top 10 most expensive areas for first-time buyers outside London

Local authority area Average deposit (£) Average deposit (%)
1 Winchester £109,060 29%
2 Cambridge £107,084 28%
3 Guildford £104,392 26%
4 Elmbridge £102,994 22%
5 Waverley £96,081 26%
6 Hertsmere £89,975 21%
7 Brentwood £89,955 24%
8 Runnymede £86,796 22%
9 Chiltern £86,209 21%
10 Oxford £82,006 25%

The cheapest areas for first-time buyers

First-timers buying in the north of England, Scotland and Wales generally pay substantially less than those living in London and the south east.

The cheapest local authority for first-time buyers in England is Barrow-in-Furness (£13,701); in Scotland it’s West Dunbartonshire (£14,010) and in Wales it’s Merthyr Tydfil at £14,446.

Table: top 10 cheapest areas for first-time buyers by deposit size

Local authority area Average deposit (£) Average deposit (%)
1 Barrow-in-Furness £13,701 12%
2 West Dunbartonshire £14,010 14%
3 North Lanarkshire £14,060 13%
4 Burnley £14,415 15%
5 Merthyr Tydfil £14,446 14%
6 North Ayrshire £14,477 15%
7 Mansfield £14,505 12%
8 Hyndburn £14,642 15%
9 Barnsley £14,782 13%
10 Inverclyde £15,216 15%

Map: first-time buyer deposits by local authority

Our interactive map enables you to see how much first-time buyers are paying throughout the UK. Hover over any area to see deposit sizes in pounds and percentage terms.


How much deposit do you need to get a mortgage?

Of course, averages only tell part of the story: there are people paying a lot more – but also a lot less – than the figures in our tables and map.

Generally speaking, the bigger the deposit you’re able to pay upfront, the better mortgage rate you’ll get. Most mortgage providers will expect you to put down at least 10% of the property price and then lend you a mortgage to cover the rest of the cost.

However, if you’re keen to buy a property soon and haven’t saved up that much, you may want to consider a Help to Buy equity loan. This enables you to put down as little as 5% on a new-build property, with the government loaning you an extra chunk of the property’s value and you taking out a mortgage to cover the rest.

The scheme works slightly differently depending on where you live. Click to find out more about:

You may also be interested in shared ownership, where you buy between 25% and 75% of the property (made up of a combination of your deposit and a mortgage) and pay rent on the rest.

Whatever your situation, it’s always worth talking to an impartial expert who can advise you on the best options for your personal circumstances. You can call Which? Mortgage Advisers for a free initial consultation on 0808 252 7987 or fill out the form below to get a call back.

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

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which 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.

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