Rents lower than mortgage payments – except in London

First-time buyers would be better off buying a property than continuing to rent, according to new research from Abbey Mortgages.

The only exception is those looking to buy in London who would pay less to rent.

The average monthly rent in the UK i s £434, while those buying a similar type of property with a 25 per cent deposit would see a mortgage bill of £382 – an average saving of £52. Prospective buyers in Wales could make the biggest monthly saving of £90.91, followed by those in the North-west, £87.43, and Yorkshire, £77.06. Buyers in East Anglia will see only a marginal saving of £2.59. "It's now cheaper in all bar one of the regions to buy rather than rent which shows that saving for that all-important deposit is worthwhile too," said Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, a director of Abbey Mortgages.

In the capital, though, renting seems a more sensible option. The average rent for a flat is £650 per month, but because of inflated house prices, even those with a 25 per cent deposit would have mortgage payments of £1,116 for the same property.

But buying may be beyond the reach of many; in order to get the best mortgage rate deals buyers have to have deposits of 25 per cent or more. People with smaller deposits can find it hard to secure a mortgage or have to pay well over the odds.