A report issued in recent days by KPMG has revealed what many would-be first-time buyers already know – the minimum income required in order to secure a mortgage is far higher than the average wage.
According to the report the average buyer would need an income of £41,000 in order to be able to get a mortgage. This is a minimum amount. The average UK wage at present is £22,000, which means many people earn only half what they would need to earn in order to afford to buy their own property for the first time.
These are averages of course but it brings into sharp focus the challenges facing many first-time buyers today. The report by KPMG assumes buyers will have a 10% deposit and that the mortgage will be worked out according to 4.5 times their income.
Different areas produce very different results
Perhaps unsurprisingly, London showed the most severe difference between the average annual wage and the required amount people would have to earn. Average house prices were used to create these figures, meaning some people may find the gap between home ownership and their current earnings could be even steeper.
In the city the average house price is currently a whopping £384,856. However the average wage is currently just £27,999. This is woefully short of the £76,971 they would require to be considered for a mortgage in the city.
How is the picture elsewhere?
The figures revealed there is a stark north-south divide people are experiencing. Those in the north-east and also in Northern Ireland have the smallest gaps between the average wage and the amount they would need to be paid in order to be considered for a mortgage.
In Northern Ireland the average house price is £106,094. The average wage is £18,857 while the average wage you would need for a mortgage is £21,219. This means there is a gap of £2,362. Compare this to the gap of £48,972 in London and you can see how wide that gap is.
Additionally the north-east has an average house price of £118,081 and an average wage of £20,149. Here the required annual income would be £23,616. This means the gap between what people earn and what they need, on average, is £3,467.
Low-wage earners are not the only people to be affected
Since this study takes into account average figures, it reveals the stark reality that it is not just those on low incomes that are unable to buy their own properties. Those earning on or above the average annual income for their area will still find a shortfall between the 10% they will no doubt be striving to save for a deposit and the mortgage they can actually afford. The gaps shown here mean many would-be homeowners will need even more set aside before they can even consider moving into their own properties.
As the head of housing at KPMG, Jan Crosby, said, these figures really do make “frightening reading”.