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Where are the most and least expensive places for first time buyers?

Patrick Christys
Mar 4, 2019

Has the price of your property gone through the roof? Or is subsidence setting in?

Well, we can reveal the cheapest and most expensive areas to buy a property in case you're planning a move.

Homes, especially in London and the surrounding areas, are so expensive that you assume estate agents are joking when they tell you the  price.

They always try to spin it - "Well, it's actually really convenient that your kitchen is also your bedroom and bathroom."

The reality is the bedsit you're viewing costs £2m and it's above a kebab shop...even the most skilled estate agent couldn't dress that up.

But outside the capital there are some real bargains to be had:

Pendle in Lancashire and Copeland in Cumbria were identified as the most affordable places, with homes there costing 2.6 times local earnings on average.

East Ayrshire was identified as the most affordable area, with homes at three times local gross earnings. The downside, of course, is that you'd have to live in Scotland which, while not a bad thing in itself, is likely to mean you never see the sun.

Brent in London was identified as the least affordable area, with first-time buyer property prices at 13.3 times the annual local wage, on average.

And London dominates the list of the least affordable properties, with Oxford being the only place outside London to hit the least affordable list.

But this hasn't put first-time buyers off. Whether it's going cap in hand to the Bank of Mum and Dad begging for a loan, or simply earning an annoying large amount of money probably gained by having some nondescript, faceless job in a bank in the City, the number of first time buyers has doubled in the last decade.

It's gone from 192,300 in 2008 to 327,000 in 2018. 

The average price paid for a typical first home has jumped by 39%, from £153,030 in 2008, to £212,473 in 2018, research by the Halifax and the Office of National Statistics found.

Oxford was the only place outside London on the top 10 list of least affordable areas for first-time buyers.

A first-time buyer in Oxford faces needing to find 10.9 times the average local wage to cover the cost of a home.

The number of first-time buyers has nearly doubled over the past decade, from 192,300 in 2008 to 372,000 in 2018.

But aspiring buyers have faced an uphill struggle trying to keep up with surging property prices.

The average price paid for a typical first home has jumped by 39%, from £153,030 in 2008, to £212,473 in 2018, research by the Halifax and the Office of National Statistics found.

Across the UK, first-time buyers are putting down an average deposit of £32,841, with those in London stumping up £110,656, while those in Wales are paying the lowest average deposit of £16,449.

In the North East, the average first-time buyer home is £126,104 and in Northern Ireland it is £129,615.

Russell Galley, managing director at the Halifax, said: "New buyers coming on to the ladder are vital for the overall wellbeing of the UK housing market, and the continued growth in first-time buyers shows healthy movement in this important area - despite a shortage of homes and the ongoing challenge of raising a deposit.

"Last year was the first year that first-time buyers accounted for the majority of the market since 1995, which shows that the factors reducing some of the associated costs - such as continued low mortgage rates and stamp duty - are supporting the increasing number of people taking their first step on to the property ladder."

Just in case you were wondering, here are the most expensive places to buy a property in the UK:


1. Brent, London
2. Hackney, London
3. Newham, London
3. Hillingdon, London
5. Waltham Forest, London
5. Oxford, South East
7. Southwark, London
7. Haringey, London
9. Barnet, London
10. Harrow, London

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