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Renters unable to get on the property ladder

Our research suggests that the property market is increasingly out of reach for many renters.

Our annual Scottish Widows Savings and Investment Report has revealed that the average private renter put away £2,180 in the last year, meaning that it would take them 23 years to save the average deposit of £50,8451. Even the average deposit for a first time buyer, at £27,984, would take almost 13 years to save.

With property ownership seeming unrealistic, it appears that many renters may have given up on property ownership - with just 29% actively saving to put a deposit on a home. When renters have managed to put money aside they have, on average, less than half the amount (£12,142 compared with £29,382) saved by those who are not paying private sector rents.

Those who rent privately are 50% more likely than the average to have no savings at all (25% vs 17%) and a third more likely to have total savings of less than £1,000 (20% vs 15%).

As one might imagine, 72% of private renters report that having no money hinders their ability to save. Worryingly, 35% of renters admit that they are currently not saving at all, with a further one in five only saving for the short term.

This lack of planning leaves renters exposed to unforeseen events; one in six believe that their savings would last less than one month if they were unable to work and half say they would only be able to support themselves from their savings pots for ‘a couple of months’ or less.

Commenting on the findings, Iain McGowan, our Head of Savings and Investments said:

 “We live in a society where many strive to own their own homes but, for many people facing high rent and increasing living costs, this isn’t going to be achievable. Whilst this is concerning, what is most worrying is that over a third of renters have no savings at all and are leaving themselves vulnerable in the short and long terms.

“The importance of saving goes much further than getting on the property a healthy savings pot can provide an invaluable buffer for the unexpected or tough times. Whilst owning a property is seen for many as something to work towards, we need to ensure that people are able to manage their out-goings, whether rent or a mortgage, and create that safety-net for unexpected bumps in the road. There is no doubt that adding to a savings pot can be difficult in challenging economic times but it is this that we should all be aiming for.”

1 Halifax, 12 months to December 2012.


  • The seventh Savings and Investment report from financial provider Scottish Widows takes an in-depth look at the habits and attitudes of the UK adult population in order to identify the implications for this emerging generation of non-savers.
  • The survey was carried out online by YouGov who interviewed a total of 5,086 adults between the 3rd and 10th December 2012. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).


Our recent survey shows that based on current average savings, it would take renters 23 years to save enough for the average deposit on a home. How are you saving for your future?

Press release