First-time buyers in lengthy deposit wait

A young, single person in England faces a 14-year wait to save for a deposit to buy their first home. In London the figure rises to almost 30 years, according to an independent report commissioned by housing charity Shelter.

Couples with children fare slightly better, with an average saving time of just under 12 years. Childless couples in England can expect to get on to the property ladder soonest, in a relatively short six-and-a-half years.

Shelter described their findings as 'shocking' and the wait that single people faced as 'staggering'. Campbell Robb, the charity's chief executive, said: "This research reveals the harsh reality that young people today are facing because of our shortage of affordable homes.

"It's right that people work hard and save up if they want to own a home, but the Government has to start meeting people halfway."

Elsewhere, in an analysis of the mortgage market during Sir Mervyn King's tenure as governor of the Bank of England, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) found that the number of first-time buyers in 2012 had fallen to 218,000 from 300,000 in 2003.

The CML says this decline was set against a huge expansion of the buy-to-let sector. In 2003, there were 400,000 buy-to-let loans worth £39 billion. By 2012, there were 1.45 million loans worth £164 billion.

Shelter refers to those young, would-be home-buyers who are 'trapped' in private rented accommodation as 'generation rent'.