Property

Where is the current number one hotspot for first-time buyers?

Property Reporter
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2nd December 2020
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With the property market continuing to defy the norms associated with this time of year and thousands of prospective buyers dreaming of getting their first foot onto the property ladder before March next year, Zoopla reveals where is proving to be the hottest FTB markets.

The portal revealed the top 20 hotspots for first-time buyers in England, Scotland and Wales, calculating the ranking by analysing the proportion of first-time buyer demand across the three countries.

So where came out top?

Luton, Bedfordshire tops the charts for first-time buyers, with a typical purchase price of £250,000. First-time buyers looking to purchase in Luton require a deposit of £37,500 (15%) on average, and an average household income of £47,000. The most popular property type for first-time buyers in Luton is a three-bed terraced house.

Regionally, the East of England is home to three further first-time buyer hotspots that feature in the top 20. Harlow ranks in fifth place, with an average first-time buyer house price of £275,000, requiring a deposit of £41,250. Thurrock, which is part of the London commuter belt, is in 11th place, while Basildon is in 13th place and currently has a three-bed terraced house on sale for the typical first-time buyer house price for the area of £270,000.

West Midlands proving popular

The West Midlands is a region proving popular with first-time buyers, with four locations featuring in the top 20 list. Wolverhampton ranks in second place overall, with an average first-time buyer house price of £145,000. To purchase a house at this price, such as a two-bed semi-detached house currently for sale, first-time buyers would need a deposit of £21,750 and a salary of £27,000.

All within a 30-minute drive to Birmingham, Sandwell (eighth place), Coventry (15th place) and South Staffordshire (18th place) also feature in the top 20. Coventry has the highest entry-level house price of the three at £170,000, followed by Sandwell (£160,000) and South Staffordshire (£150,000). Potential properties for first-time buyers for sale in these areas include a three-bed semi-detached house for sale in Coventry, which could make for the perfect family home.

Barking and Dagenham leads in London

While London’s house prices are often regarded as a barrier for first-time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder, locations in the capital occupy half of the top 20 list. Barking and Dagenham ranks as the third most popular place nationally for first-time buyers, with the lowest entry-level house price of £325,000. Potential buyers hoping to purchase their first home in this area are likely to need a deposit of £48,750 and a household income of £61,000, substantially higher than the requirements in other parts of the country.

By contrast, Islington is the most expensive first-time buyer hotspot in London, requiring a deposit of £78,750 and income of £99,000 to afford a typical house price of £525,000. Those with the means to purchase their first home in this borough may be tempted by a modern two-bed flat for sale near Kings Cross, or a mews apartment for sale near the popular Upper Street in Islington. Both are on sale for £525,000.

Gráinne Gilmore, Head of Research at Zoopla comments: "Activity levels in the housing market have been building across the country in recent months following sharp increases in buyer demand. First-time buyers remain one of the largest cohorts of purchasers across the country, and our data shows that they remain very active within the capital.

"There is noticeable activity across the wider commuter zones into the East of England too, perhaps reflecting different commuting patterns for office-based workers. The hotspots in the West Midlands reflect activity in this market more widely but also underlines how the increased affordability of housing in these markets is appealing to those climbing onto the housing ladder.

"Activity levels will remain elevated into next year, and first-time buyers in many of these hotspots will still be able to secure a home with no stamp duty to pay or a reduced bill even after the end of the stamp duty holiday. The stamp duty exemption for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000, which applies to homes worth up to £500,000, will remain in place after the stamp duty holiday ends on March 31st."

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