Santander research headlines that the current cost of buying is cheaper than renting in all areas of the country, except eastern England, where mortgage payments exceed rental payments by a whole two pounds, Great, you may say, and a win for the property owning democracy.
But you really need to look at the statistics. First, it is only the average. Secondly, look at the low level of mortgage rates at the moment. Third, the research also says that the average deposit is 21%.
So, how do those who can least afford to get on the housing ladder, and what are the implications for us all? Can anyone hear the sound that preceded the bursting of bubbles, if not also the dreams of those who just want somewhere to live?
Average monthly rental prices now surpass those for the average mortgage repayment. The average monthly rent in the UK is currently £995 per household compared to monthly repayments of £805 for the average first-time buyer household, meaning homeowners could save an average of £190 a month or £2,300 a year. Prospective first-time buyers in the South West are set to make the biggest monthly savings by making the switch from renting to property ownership as average monthly rents exceed mortgage payments by over £192. First-time buyers in London, where rental prices are 56 per cent higher than the UK average, would see themselves £179 better off per month.