First-time buyers at risk when unemployment knocks

Nearly half of first-time buyers would be able to meet their mortgage repayments for only six months if they lost their regular income tomorrow, reveals research by Post Office Financial Services.

With the average house deposit now at 11,710,2 many first-time buyers are left overstretched financially.

A third then face the additional shock of household running costs, which are much higher than they expected.

The Post Office research reveals that despite these financial pressures, many first-time buyers are skimping on protecting themselves.

45% of first-time buyers dont have any kind of protection against loss of income, from accident, sickness or unemployment.

Of those who are unprotected, 44% have avoided doing so because they think its too expensive and almost a third just dont think they need it.

At least one in five first-time buyers say they would rely on friends and family to help them pay their mortgage if they couldnt work, and one in 20 admits they would have to sell their house in this event.

Claire Oldstein, head of marketing at the Post Office, says: “First-time buyers tend to overstretch themselves, but need to consider what they would do if they lost their income.

Its unlikely they will have a big enough rainy day fund to rely on – especially after pulling together a deposit.”

Oldstein adds: “Protecting yourself may seem another unwelcome expense but it could actually be money well spent should the unexpected happen.