Where is the current best place to buy for first-time buyers?

Warren Lewis
25th June 2019

Getting your foot on the first rung of the property ladder is no mean feat these days. Once you've saved up your deposit, you need to choose an affordable location.

Property finance specialist, One77 Mortgages, has looked at where across the UK is the best place to live when it comes to property purchase affordability.

While many have to look outside of their hometown or preferred location in order to buy a house, One 77 looked at the average net salary across the UK and how quickly this allowed aspirational homeowners to accumulate a mortgage deposit in order to get a foot on the property ladder in a given area.

The research shows that across the UK the net salary available would allow a home buyer to save a 10% deposit on the average house price in just 11.4 months. While there are 30 or so lenders currently offering 5% deposits, working based on a 10% deposit will allow first-time buyers to secure a better interest rate which is more beneficial in the long run.

The North East offers the best mix of money and property affordability with an average time of just 7 months required to save a 10% deposit. The North West and Yorkshire and Humber are also home to a time to save below 10 months.

London (17.9) and the South East (14.7) are predictably the worst regions to live in when it comes to the money available to save for a deposit.

Burnley is the best place to buy a house, with the net salary available totting up to a 10% mortgage deposit in just 4.7 months, providing the quickest, most affordable foot on the ladder when considering the wage available.

Pendle in Lancashire ranks second at 5.1 months, with East Ayrshire in Scotland, Hyndburn and County Durham all home to a net salary that would total a 10% mortgage deposit in 5.3 months.

Copeland, Hartlepool, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent and West Dunbartonshire also make the top 10 at 5.9 months or below.

In contrast, London dominates the top 10 longest times to accumulate a 10% deposit, with the City of London the least affordable foot on the ladder at 25.7 months. Hackney, Haringey, Brent, Camden, Barnet and Hammersmith and Fulham are also amongst the worst.

Oxford is the only entry into the top 10 longest outside of the capital, with it taking 20.6 months to accrue a 10% deposit on the net salary available.

Alastair McKee, Managing Director of One77 Mortgages, commented: “Of course, the wage on offer and the price of property is relative to each area and you still need to account for the cost of living, but this research highlights where you have the best opportunity of saving a deposit and getting on the ladder in the shortest space of time.

While it’s no secret that London and the South East provides a much greater obstacle for aspirational homeowners, it’s alarming to see just how large the disparity is, with it taking over five times as long to save a deposit in the City of London compared to Burnley and that’s despite a much larger wage on offer.

The compromise that many are forced to make in these regions is a much longer commute in order to secure a higher wage while looking to buy in an area that offers a much more affordable price tag. There are currently a number of lenders that will provide you with a mortgage based on a deposit as low as 5%. However, this will mean a less favourable interest rate and we would advise anyone stretching to buy on these terms to hold off and wait until they have accumulated a larger deposit. It will be well worth it in the long-run.”

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