Image copyright
Getty Images

Young first-time buyers are increasing their overall mortgage debt in order to tackle short-term financial pressures.

The average mortgage term is lengthening from the traditional 25 years, according to figures from broker L&C Mortgages.

Its figures show the proportion of new buyers taking out 31 to 35-year mortgages has doubled in 10 years.

That means lower monthly repayments, but a bigger overall bill owing to the extra interest incurred.

The extra total cost can be tens of thousands of pounds.

Where can I afford to live?

Where can you afford to live? Try our housing calculator to see where you could rent or buy

This interactive content requires an internet connection and a modern browser.

View affordability data by UK region

View affordability data by local authority area

Do you want to buy or rent?



How many bedrooms?
Use the buttons to increase or decrease the number of bedrooms: minimum one, maximum four. Alternatively, enter a
number into the text input

Decrease number of bedrooms

Enter number of bedrooms


Increase number of bedrooms

How much is your deposit?
Enter your deposit below or adjust the deposit amount using the slider

The national average is

More about deposits

Enter deposit amount

Adjust deposit amount


Return to ‘How much is your deposit?’

This calculator assumes you need a deposit of at least 5% of the value of the property to get a mortgage. The average deposit
for UK first-time buyers is .

How much can you pay monthly?
Enter your monthly payment below or adjust the payment amount using the slider

The national average is

More about monthly payments

Enter monthly payment amount

Adjust monthly payment amount


Return to ‘How much can you pay monthly?’

Your monthly payments are what you can afford to pay each month. Think about your monthly income and take off bills, council
tax and living expenses. The average rent figure is for England and Wales.

Your results

Amount of the United Kingdom that has housing you can afford

Range of affordable areas includes:
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon and Belfast

No affordable areas

Explore the map in detail below

Search the UK for more details about a local area

Search for counties

No data

low (£)

high (£££)



What does affordable mean?

You have a big enough deposit and your monthly payments are high enough.
The prices are based on the local market. If there are 100 properties of the right size in an area and they are placed in price order with the cheapest first, the “low-end” of the market will be the 25th property, “mid-priced” is the 50th and “high-end” will be the 75th.

Term time

The average term for a mortgage taken by a first-time buyer has risen slowly but steadily to more than 27 years, according to the L&C figures drawn from its customer data.

More detailed data shows that in 2007, there were 59% of first-time buyers who had mortgage terms of 21 to 25 years. That proportion dropped to 39% this year.

In contrast, mortgage terms of 31 to 35 years have been chosen by 22% of first-time buyers this year, compared with 11% in 2007.

The total cost of a £150,000 mortgage with an interest rate of 2.5% would be more than £23,000 higher by choosing a 35-year mortgage term rather than a 25-year term.

The gain for the borrower would be monthly repayments of £673, rather than £536.

David Hollingworth, of L&C Mortgages, said that interest-only mortgages were far less of an option for first-time buyers than a decade ago, and many needed to find a large deposit.

The income squeeze also meant that many “needed some slack in the monthly budget”, so were choosing the longer-term mortgages.

Lenders have been offering longer mortgage terms, of up to 40 years, to reflect longer working lives and life expectancy.

He suggested that borrowers regularly reviewed their deals.

“Ideally, if you keep the term shorter, it will save you money in the long run,” he said.

House prices

First-time buyers in some parts of the country have seen prices rising very slowly since the financial crisis, assisting affordability, despite stricter checks by lenders.

The latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) showed that more of its members expected house price falls than those expecting rises in the next three months.

Price falls have been most marked in London and South East England in September, they said, with falls also recorded in East Anglia and North East England.

On a national level, demand from new buyers and sales also fell in September, the survey suggested.

Related Topics

  • Personal finance
  • Housing market
  • Personal debt