05 Feb 2018

Revealed: Most-affordable areas in the UK for first-time buyers

Revealed: Most-affordable areas in the UK for first-time buyers

Eight out of the 10 most-affordable areas in the UK for first-time buyers are in Scotland.

This emerged in new research by the Halifax, which also found that the number of new owners in the UK was estimated to have hit 359,000 last year – the most since 2007.

Stirling comes second in the UK table for affordability for this group of buyers, with a house price to average earnings ratio of 3.0.

North Ayrshire is third with 3.1; Inverclyde fifth with 3.2; West Dunbartonshire sixth with 3.2; Renfrewshire seventh with 3.2; East Ayrshire eighth with 3.4; South Ayrshire ninth with 3.4; and  North Lanarkshire 10th with 3.4.

Least-affordable districts

All of the 10 least-affordable districts are in London.

Top of that list is Brent, where the typical first-time buyer property price of £475,612 is 12.9 times average annual earnings for that area.

The number of new owners in London has fallen by 26% from 57,900 in 2007 to an estimated 42,983 in 2017, marking the third consecutive annual decline.

The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK last year was 31 – two years older than a decade ago. In London, it has grown from 31 to 33 – the oldest in the country.  

Number of new owners on the rise

Halifax reported that the number of UK new owners rose by 6% last year to 359,000.

A figure this high was last seen in 2007, when 359,900 took their first step on to the property ladder.

This compares to an all-time low of 192,300 in 2008 and is now just 11% below the most recent peak of 402,800 in 2006.

The Scottish figure for last year was 35,577, up almost 4,000 on 2016 and marginally ahead of the 2007 total.

First-time buyers now account for half of all house purchases with a mortgage in the UK, an increase from 36% a decade ago.

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 10-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 Buy have helped first-time buyers become a much greater segment of the market."

Help for first-time buyers

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If you are planning to buy your first home this year, it's an event (and discount) not to be missed.

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