Help to Buy in Under a Year

Following the recent announcement that the Help to Buy Scheme is to be extended to 2023, Compare My Move have explored how the Help to Buy Equity Loan helps young renters get on the property ladder. We’ve mapped out how long it takes young renters to save an average 15% deposit for their first home in 50 of the largest British towns and cities, and compared it to the 5% deposit needed for the Help to Buy equity loan.

The research shows the average young British renter can get on the property ladder 2 years earlier with the Help to Buy scheme, saving £10,000 in rent in the process. To work out how much you can borrow, use our Help to Buy calculator.

Time to Save a Deposit for a First Home in 50 Towns & Cities

The Best Towns & Cities for First Time Buyers

Our research shows that there are 14 towns and cities in Britain where renters can save for a 5% deposit on their first home in a year or less. This is because of low house prices and reasonable rent costs relative to the average salary.

CityAvg 15% FTB DepositYears to Save 15%Avg 5% FTB DepositMonths to Save 5%



1 Years and 9 Months


7 Months



1 Years and 10 Months


8 Months



2 Years and 3 Months


9 Months



2 Years and 4 Months


10 Months



2 Years and 5 Months


10 Months



2 Years and 5 Months


10 Months



2 Years and 6 Months


10 Months



2 Years and 6 Months


10 Months



2 Years and 7 Months


11 Months



2 Years and 7 Months


11 Months

Bradford£17,9402 Years and 8 Months
£5,98011 Months
Edinburgh£18,5742 Years and 8 Months
£6,19111 Months
Wolverhampton£18,8892 Years and 8 Months
£6,29611 Months
Dudley£21,9502 Years and 8 Months
£7,31712 Months

View the full data set here

The Worst Towns & Cities for First Time Buyers

The research shows the struggle in many cities for renters saving to get on the property ladder. In areas where rent and house prices way outstrip the average wage, renters can spend more than a decade saving up the average deposit needed. These are the areas where savers gain the most from the Help to Buy equity loan, saving a huge amount of time and rent.

CityAvg 15% FTB Deposit
Years to Save 15%
Avg 5% FTB Deposit
Years to Save 5%
Oxford£53,10517 Years
£17,7025 Years and 8 Months
Cambridge£55,55214 Years and 3 Months£18,5174 Years and 9 Months
London£63,07110 Years and 7 Months£21,0243 Years and 7 Months
Reading£41,14810 Years and 8 Months£13,7163 Years and 7 Months
Slough£41,7129 Years and 5 Months£13,9043 Years and 2 Months
Crawley£38,3249 Years and 2 Months£12,7753 Years and 1 Months
Bristol£37,8627 Years and 8 Months£12,6212 Years and 7 Months
Poole£35,8517 Years and 7 Months£11,9502 Years and 7 Months
Swindon£28,1466 Years and 1 Months£9,3822 Years and 1 Months
Southend-on-Sea£35,7685 Years and 9 Months£11,9231 Years and 11 Months

View the full data set here


Compare My Move focused on savers in their twenties renting in the town or city in which they want to buy their first home. We selected the 50 largest towns and cities in Britain. We used median regional wages for 22 to 29 year olds, and worked out take-home salary by deducting tax, pension contributions, and student loan contributions.

We sourced living costs that reflect a normal lifestyle, including food, travel and bills, but also socialising and entertainment. We added average monthly rent for one room in the town or city, and worked out the disposable income of the young saver.

We then worked out the time taken to save up a 15% deposit for the average first time buyer home in the area, before comparing it to a 5% deposit.

Contains HM Land Registry data © Crown copyright and database right 2017. This data is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

View our full methodology and sources