Top 10 cheapest and priciest areas for first-time buyers


Copeland in Cumbria is the most affordable local authority district in the UK for hard-up first-time buyers, research revealed today.

The average cost of a home in Copeland is £120,088, which is just shy of three times local average gross annual earnings, according to a report by Halifax.

The coastal district was only formed in 1974 and includes the port town of Whitehaven, the nuclear complex at Sellafield – which may explain the relatively high local average salary – and the wild western edge of the Lake District National Park. 

Where to buy: From top left to right, Stirling, Copeland and Ayr are all affordable for first-time buyers, while homes in, from bottom left to right, Hackney, Haringey and Brent are expensive

Where to buy: From top left to right, Stirling, Copeland and Ayr are all affordable for first-time buyers, while homes in, from bottom left to right, Hackney, Haringey and Brent are expensive

Where to buy: From top left to right, Stirling, Copeland and Ayr are all affordable for first-time buyers, while homes in, from bottom left to right, Hackney, Haringey and Brent are expensive

Aside from Copeland, eight out of 10 of the most affordable areas for first-time buyers are in Scotland, with scenic Stirling, North Ayrshire and Inverclyde all coming in within the top five.

At the other end of the spectrum, all of the top 10 least affordable locations are in London, Halifax’s findings reveal.

In Brent, London, the average cost of a home is £475,612, which is 12.9 times the typical annual earnings of someone in the area.

Elsewhere in London, Newham, Haringey, Hackney and Harrow are all unaffordable for the majority of first-time buyers when taking into account property prices and average earnings.  

In 2007, a first-time buyer needed a deposit of around £17,740 to get on the property ladder. Fast forward to the present day and the average deposit required is £33,339.  

Outside London, the biggest hike has been in the South East, where deposits have risen by 157 per cent to £51,457. In London, average deposits are over £112,000.

Bag a bargain: Copeland in Cumbria is the most affordable local authority district in the UK for first-time buyers

Bag a bargain: Copeland in Cumbria is the most affordable local authority district in the UK for first-time buyers

Bag a bargain: Copeland in Cumbria is the most affordable local authority district in the UK for first-time buyers

Affordable: Stirling in Scotland is the second most affordable area for first-time buyers

Affordable: Stirling in Scotland is the second most affordable area for first-time buyers

Affordable: Stirling in Scotland is the second most affordable area for first-time buyers

TOP 10 MOST AFFORDABLE LOCATIONS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS
Local Authority District Region House Price to Average Earnings ratio
Copeland North West 2.9
Stirling Scotland 3
North Ayrshire Scotland 3.1
Pendle North West 3.1
Inverclyde Scotland 3.2
West Dunbartonshire Scotland 3.2
Renfrewshire Scotland 3.2
East Ayrshire Scotland 3.4
South Ayrshire Scotland 3.4
North Lanarkshire Scotland 3.4

By contrast, in Northern Ireland, average deposits have fallen by 62 per cent from £44,270 in 2007 to £16,814 last year, which is the lowest in the UK.   

A decade ago, the cost of a home for a first-time buyer was £174,703. In a decade this has risen by 21 per cent to ££212,079.

In London, the average price paid by a first-time buyer has grown by £134,902 to £422,580, which is double the national average. 

While the amount of money needed to get on the housing ladder has risen sharply, the number of first-time buyers has risen to 2007 levels. 

Last year, approximately 359,000 people snapped up their first property, compared to 359,900 in 2007.

Expensive: Brent in London is the least affordable district for first-time buyers

Expensive: Brent in London is the least affordable district for first-time buyers

Expensive: Brent in London is the least affordable district for first-time buyers

Urban living: Hackney is the second least affordable area for first-time buyers

Urban living: Hackney is the second least affordable area for first-time buyers

Urban living: Hackney is the second least affordable area for first-time buyers

TOP 10 LEAST AFFORDABLE LOCATIONS FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS
Local Authority District Region House Price to Average Earnings ratio
Brent London 12.9
Newham London 12
Haringey London 11.5
Hackney London 11.3
Harrow London 11.2
Hillingdon London 10.9
Waltham Forest London 10.8
Lambeth London 10.7
Southwark London 10.7
Ealing London 10.5

At the height of the financial crisis of 2008, first time buyer numbers plummeted to 192,300.

While first-time buyer numbers are generally on the up, this is not the case for all areas.  

In the past decade, the number of first-time buyers in London has fallen by 26 per cent from 57,900 in 2007 to around 42,983 in 2017, marking the third consecutive annual decline. 

The North of England is the only other region to see a drop in first-time buyer numbers from 17,300 to 16,430 during the same period. 

Russell Galley, Managing Director of Halifax said: ‘A flow of new buyers into home ownership is vital for the overall wellbeing of the UK housing market. 

‘This ten-year high in the number of first-time buyers shows continued healthy movement in this key area despite a shortage of homes and the ongoing challenge of saving enough of a deposit.

‘Low mortgage rates, high levels of employment and Government schemes such as Help to Buy4 have helped first-time buyers become a much greater segment of the market, and the recent abolition of Stamp Duty on purchases of up to £300,000 is likely to continue stimulating this growth by reducing the upfront costs associated with taking the first step on to the property ladder.’

With prices on the up and wages stagnating, the average age of a first-time buyer across the UK was 31 last year, which is two years older than a decade ago.

In London, the average age of a first-time buyer us 33 years old and in notoriously expensive Richmond it is 35.

Look at the costs: South Ayrshire in Scotland is an affordable area for first-time buyers

Look at the costs: South Ayrshire in Scotland is an affordable area for first-time buyers

Look at the costs: South Ayrshire in Scotland is an affordable area for first-time buyers

NUMBER OF FIRST TIME BUYERS SINCE 2006
Year Number of First-time Buyers Annual % change FTBs as % of all House Purchases Loans
2006 402,800 11% 36%
2007 359,900 -11% 36%
2008 192,300 -47% 38%
2009 196,700 2% 38%
2010 199,400 1% 37%
2011 193,700 -3% 38%
2012 217,900 12% 40%
2013 268,100 23% 44%
2014 307,900 15% 46%
2015 309,200 0% 46%
2016 339,600 10% 48%
2017* 359,000* 6%* 49%*
Source: UK Finance/Halifax       

 



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