Buying more expensive than renting for first time in 13 years
Jay Clarke, lettings manager at Johns & Co estate agents, said: “We have definitely noticed a trend that potential buyers are pausing home searches to rent.”
In the South East, the second most expensive region outside of the capital, first-time buyer mortgage payments now cost 17pc more than local rents, or an extra £2,580 per year.
Zoopla’s calculations assume a first-time buyer takes out a five-year fixed-rate mortgage over a 30-year term with the cheapest available deal at 5.6pc.
If the same buyer purchased in London with a two-year fix, with the cheapest available deal at 6.2pc, they would spend an extra £7,956 per year compared to if they rented it.
Although some banks have begun cutting mortgage rates, the average rate on a two-year fix has dipped only slightly to 6.76pc, according to data company Moneyfacts. This is well above the 5.33pc level recorded in May and is nearly triple the average 2.34pc rate in December 2021.
On average, this means the monthly cost of taking out a typical £200,000 loan has jumped by £502 – a 57pc jump.
But when it comes to the trade off between buying and renting, there is a clear North South divide. Renting is now cheaper than buying in every part of the South and Midlands.
However, in Scotland, Wales, the Northern regions and Northern Ireland, it is still cheaper to buy than rent. This is because house prices are lower in proportion to rent prices.
In Scotland, where average monthly rent is £748 – a third of the cost in London – first-time buyers will save £128 per month if they purchase the same property with a five-year fix.
But if the same buyer purchased with a two-year fix, this saving would drop to £87.