Despite a property market boom during the pandemic, the furlough scheme pushed back the average age of first time buyers by up to two years.
The government’s initiative may have given a lifeline to millions as Covid restrictions plunged society into chaos, but its long term impact has reportedly been to stall many people’s ability to get a mortgage.
Furlough, which ran from March 2020 until September 2021, meant the government paid up to 80 per cent of people’s wages if they were forced to stop working, due to the pandemic. The average income during this time was £31,646, meaning anyone on furlough lost nearly £8,000 in earnings.
With the average first-time buyer house prize being shy of £200,000, requiring a deposit of just under £30,000, those on the scheme had an extra 1.8 years of saving added, to bridge the mortgage deposit gap.
New figures released by GetAgent.co.uk show the scheme pushed back the average age to get onto the property ladder to 34 as a result.
Buying a home has “become particularly hard to reach as a result of ever increasing house prices, with first-time buyers saving for far longer simply to amass enough to secure a mortgage deposit”, said Founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short,
“The pandemic will have only added to this difficulty and those who were furloughed, or worse made redundant, will have seen their journey to homeownership become all the longer as a result of a reduction in earnings and their ability to save.”