Help for first-time buyers isn’t enough to conquer London market


A quarter of London boroughs have no houses available for first-time buyers using Help To Buy, while many others offer only a handful.

Of all the houses available to buy in the capital, estate agent James Pendleton has found only 603 qualifying houses – new-builds worth a maximum of £600,000 – available for sale for first-time buyers. And eight boroughs of the 32, including Camden, Hackney, and Hammersmith, have no houses at all available on the scheme.

Although there are flats on the market that do qualify, as the age of first-time buyers rises, many require a house rather than a flat as they have already started families.

Lucy Pendleton of the estate agent says: “With houses making up such a small proportion of London’s new-build property stock below the Help To Buy threshold, the reality is that families will be forced to stay in cramped and uncomfortable accommodation.”

According to figures from estate agent Savills, 25.9% of properties bought by first-time buyers in the capital this year have cost more than £500,000, up from just 8% five years ago, which means that the latest stamp duty relief changes might not be helping many London dwellers onto the property ladder.

Where can first-time buyers buy?

Earlier this year, Post Office Money ranked the major UK cities in terms of affordability, and found that Southampton came out on top, with house prices averaging £199,000 and 98% of properties considered accessible for first-time buyers. The criteria was based on the proportion of median house prices that were lower than 4.5 times the average first-time buyer’s income in each area.

The next most affordable areas for first-time buyers were Norwich, Nottingham, Liverpool, Plymouth, Manchester and Birmingham, while the least affordable area was actually Brighton, rather than London, where just 2% of properties are considered affordable and the average house price is £352,000.

Owen Woodley of Post Office Money said: “Our data shows that almost two-thirds (62%) of home sales are still in areas across the country that remain within reach for those looking to take their first steps on the property ladder, and first-time buyers can really benefit from thinking outside the box to realise their property aspirations.”

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free


Help for first-time buyers isn’t enough to conquer London market


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.