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Revealed: which graduates are first to own their own homes

 Young people across the UK continue to face great difficulties getting onto the property ladder, but do students from some universities have an easier time purchasing their first home than others?

In order to discover which university’s graduates have the best odds of owning a home before their peers, Uswitch.com first time buyer mortgages compiled different universities’ average graduate salaries[4]. This was then used to see how long it would take to save for a 10% deposit on the average property price in Britain, based on saving 20% of their income[5]. Taking a deeper dive, Uswitch also discovered how long it would take graduates from different degree subjects to buy a home[6].

Table 1: Universities ranked on how long it will take graduates to save for a 10% deposit[7].



Average graduate salary

Years to save for a 10% deposit

London School of Economics and Political Science


3 years, 11 months

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine


4 years, 2 months

Birkbeck College


4 years, 5 months

The University of Cambridge


4 years, 5 months

The University of Oxford


4 years, 6 months

University College London


4 years, 6 months

St George’s, University of London


4 years, 6 months

King’s College London


4 years, 7 months

The University of Bath


4 years, 9 months

The Royal Veterinary College


4 years, 9 months

Source: Uswitch.com

Graduates from the top ten ranking universities are all able to save for a 10% deposit faster than the average person in Britain[8]. Based on the average salary of £25,896, a Brit needs to save for five years, seven months for a 10% deposit[9]. This is ten months longer than even the universities in the ninth and tenth spots, The University of Bath and The Royal Veterinary College, whose graduates need to save for just four years and nine months[10].

Graduates from the London School of Economics are able to save for a 10% deposit sooner than their peers, taking only three years and eleven months, thanks to an average graduate salary of £37,259[11]. They are also the only graduates able to save for their deposit in under four years. LSE graduates have a three month lead on Imperial College graduates, who are next best-placed to save for a deposit in four years and two months, on a £34,827 salary[12].

 60% of the ranking universities are in London, with only the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, and the Royal Veterinary College, ranking from outside the capital[13]. All ten universities are in England. The University of St Andrew’s, in fourteenth, is the first university to rank from outside England; graduates from this Scottish establishment need to save for four years and eleven months in order to save for a house deposit[14].

Table 2: The median salary of degree subject graduates, and how long it would take to save for a deposit on this salary[15].

Degree subject

Median graduate full-time salary

Years to save 10% deposit for average GB property

Medicine and Dentistry


4 years, 3 months

Veterinary Sciences


4 years, 7 months

Engineering and Technology


5 years, 2 months

Mathematical Sciences


5 years, 3 months



5 years, 5 months

Physical Sciences


5 years, 8 months

Subjects allied to Medicine


5 years, 9 months

Architecture, Building, and Planning


5 years, 9 months

Social Sciences


5 years, 9 months

Education and Teaching


5 years, 9 months

Source: Uswitch.com

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects dominate the rankings for degree subject graduates who are able to buy a home first. Medicine and Dentistry come out on top; with a median graduate salary of £34,000, graduates only need four years and three months to save for a 10% deposit on the average British property[16] (based on a monthly saving contribution of 20% of their salary[17]).

The only non-STEM subjects to rank in the top ten are Education and Teaching. In tenth place, on a median salary of £25,000, it will take these subject’s average graduates five years and nine months to save for the necessary deposit, a-year-and-a-half longer than a typical Medicine and Dentistry graduate[18].

Sitting at the bottom of the rankings are Design, Creative, and Performing Arts graduates, who, with a median salary of £20,000, will need seven years and three months to save for a 10% deposit on the average British property[19]. This is over three years longer than Medicine and Dentistry, and Veterinary Sciences graduates[20].

Uswitch first-time buyer mortgages expert, Kellie Steed, shares tips on how to manage  finances as a first-time buyer:

 “It can be daunting to think about savings and house deposits as a recent graduate, but there are ways to make the task more manageable.

 “If owning your own home is a goal, it’s best to take steps towards achieving that as soon as you’re able to. Researching how to get the most out of your savings can be an easy first-step towards reaching your desired deposit: 

 Research ways to increase your deposit savings: If you’re a first-time buyer under 40 years-old, you can use a LISA (lifetime ISA) to build up your savings more quickly. This government programme can boost your savings by 25% (to a maximum of £1,000) on deposits up to £4,000 a year.”

  • Check your tax codes: Make sure you’re being taxed correctly by reviewing your income tax code. If you’re paying more than you should, you may be able to claim your tax back, meaning this money can be saved towards your deposit instead.
  • Cut the costs of your debts: Take a look at your outstanding credit card balance on your statements - which also show your interest rate, and monthly payments. If you’re on a high-interest rate, consider moving your debts to a 0% balance transfer credit card and lower interest payments (although be sure to read all terms and conditions before you do).
  • Reduce your outgoings: There are usually a number of small changes we can make to increase our expendable income, from cutting out the daily coffee through to living with parents or friends whilst saving. This will vary depending on your circumstances and outgoings, but it’s worth looking into if one less trip or holiday per year means owning a home sooner.

For more information, click first-time buyer mortgages.


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