Look north for first-time buyer hotspots

Look north for first-time buyer hotspots

During the last few years it's been difficult for Britain's first-time buyers (FTBs) to take their initial steps on the property ladder.

House prices have been increasing at a steady rate since the financial crisis and many prospective first-time buyers are renting, prohibiting their ability to save for a deposit.

Things are starting to look up, though. Firstly, it's thought that for the next few months at least, first-timers will not face as stiff competition from buy-to-let investors as a result of the stamp duty surcharge which was introduced last month.

What's more, it seems like mortgage lenders are once again starting introduce initiatives designed to help out those looking to buy their first property – demonstrated this month by Barclays reintroducing the 100% mortgage.

And in March, Which? Mortgage Advisers revealed the locations where properties under £200,000 had experienced the highest price rises.

This all seems like good news, but is there anywhere in particular where first-time buyers should be focusing their attention?

Well, for starters, it may be worthwhile looking beyond the Watford Gap...

An analysis of average local incomes and property prices, carried out by job search engine Adzuna, shows that the UK's top ten most affordable locations for first-time buyers are all in the Midlands or the north of England.

According to the study, Bradford is the most affordable city for first-timers with over 71% of homes within the budget of the average buyer.

In Hull, Sunderland, Manchester, Durham, Liverpool, Salford and Birmingham, FTBs can expect to find at least 60% of homes within their reach.

The top ten is made up by Dudley and Sheffield, where 59% and 55% of respective homes are affordable for the average FTB.

Adzuna calculated the figures by assuming a joint mortgage multiple of 4.1%x average earnings and a 10% deposit. It put these up against average asking prices in each location and compared single salaries against one-bed properties for first-time buyers.


Where might it be more difficult for FTBs to secure a property?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of least affordable areas for first-time buyers are located in the south or the south east.

The figures put Oxford as the least affordable UK location, with just 1.22% of homes within the budget of the average first-time buyer.

London and High Wycombe are next, with less than 2% of homes considered affordable for typical FTBs.


Do the locations differ for all home buyers?

When it comes to affordability for all home buyers, the top ten lists are largely the same with a few changes. In the affordable locations breakdown, Glasgow and Middlesbrough make the top ten, with respective affordability proportions of 46% and 35%. Bradford and Hull remain the top two most affordable locations for the average buyer.

Meanwhile, Oxford again tops the list of least affordable locations, with the only change in the top ten being Chichester instead of Crawley, where only 19% of homes are affordable for the average property purchaser.