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Can your deposit savings keep up with house prices?

As house prices continue to rise faster than wages, home buyers are feeling the pressure to buy before property values rise even higher. So what can you do to max your deposit?

Latest figures show the average house value is up 13.2% on a year ago.  The ONS have calculated the current average price to be £266,000.

If you were hoping to save up just 5% (usually the minimum you’ll need to get a mortgage), the average deposit now stands at £13,333. However, 5% deposit mortgages are getting increasingly rare and of course to get lower interest rates – and therefore smaller monthly repayments – you’ll need even more money upfront.

If saving up tens of thousands of pounds feels like a daunting prospect, you aren’t alone. But there are some ways you can make the most of your current savings.

Here are our four top ways to boost your deposit and buy before prices rise even more.

Lifetime ISA 

If you're a first time buyer looking to buy a property in the UK for under £450,000 you could get a 25% bonus on your savings to put towards your first home. You're only able to open an account if you're 39 or under, and you can save a maximum of £4,000 into the account each tax year for an annual bonus of £1,000. 

There are a few rules for using a Lifetime ISA, so make sure you read the guide linked below.

Help to Buy equity loan scheme

In England and Wales you can use the Help to Buy equity loan scheme to put down a smaller deposit on a new build home. It works by allowing you to contribute a 5% deposit, and up to 20% (40% in London) of the purchase price is made up by a loan from the government, which is payable when you sell or remortgage the property after five years. 

This could help you get onto the property ladder more quickly. 

Shared ownership

With shared ownership, you buy part of a property and pay rent on the rest. This will lower the size of the deposit you need. Many shared ownership flats and houses are new builds, but you may be able to find better deals on older properties. 

Shares start at 25%, but you're able to buy more when you're able to afford it or qualify for a bigger mortgage. This is known as 'staircasing', and by doing this you'll reduce the amount of rent payable, and build your equity. Find out more about shared ownership on the GOV.UK site.

Buy with someone else

Whether it's with your partner, parent or friend, buying with someone else means there are more people putting cash towards that all-important deposit. Just make sure you have a plan in place if one of you wants to sell their share.


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