Affordability is one of the biggest barriers to homeownership, but first-time buyers looking to get the most for their money could start in Lancashire…
Recent research by online estate agency Hatched shows that, despite the average UK house price for a first home sitting at around £211,000, there are still a handful of places where a property bargain can be found by savvy first-time buyers wanting to climb onto the housing ladder.
Lancashire emerges as the most affordable county, where the average property price stands at just £70,311 in Burnley and £76,432 in Pendle. In Scotland and Wales, average prices are also considerably lower than the UK average. The typical house in East Ayrshire in Scotland costs marginally under £75,000, while in Wales, Blaenau, Gwent’s average property comes in at £75,442.
Annual earnings versus property price
The data also looked at the correlation between average local salaries and housing costs. Again, Scotland came out ahead; in East Dunbartonshire, homes are 2.6 times that of local employees’ annual earnings. East Renfrewshire followed closely with properties averaging three times the annual salary and in Cumbria, Copeland’s regional figure stands at an average of 2.9.
Property prices in London and the south-east highlight the regional contrast and just how difficult it is for first-time buyers in London to afford to buy. Experts forecast that by 2025, the increase in Generation Rent and lack of affordability will mean that just 40% of Londoners will be homeowners – a decrease of 20% since 2000, when 60% of people living in London owned their own home.
The priciest parts of the UK
Currently, London can claim to be home to the UK’s 10 most expensive boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea has an average property price of £1,311,684, and moving eastwards to Hackney buyers will still need in excess of half a million pounds with an average property starting at £520,547.
David Martin of Hatched said: “The fact that the number of first-time buyers has been steadily decreasing since the start of the millennium might be due to the increasing difficulties people face when trying to become homeowners. These difficulties are typically around property availability and suitability, lending and help to buy, and of course the overall price aspect.
“Average house prices are up 181% since the start of the millennium, when the average spend was £75,000.
“The younger generations (particularly millennials) are especially being hit by these barriers, and are either having to stay at home with parents for longer or find themselves falling into Generation Rent.”