First-time buyers wait seven years longer to get house in some parts of Britain

First-time buyers (NiseriN)
First-time buyers (NiseriN)

First-time buyers in some parts of the country can expect to wait up to seven years longer to get on the property ladder than those in other areas, a report has found.

The average first-time buyer is aged 30 but differences in house prices across the country means this age varies significantly depending on where buyers live.

In Carlisle in Cumbria and Torfaen, South Wales, the typical age is 27, while in Slough and parts of London it is 34 – making a seven-year age gap, according to the research from Halifax.

Across London, the average first-time buyer age is 32, while in Scotland and Wales it is two years younger at 30 and in Northern Ireland it is 31.

First-time buyers also tend to be on the youthful side in parts of Yorkshire, where the average age is 28. In London, the youngest first-time buyers can typically be found in Lambeth, with the average first-time buyer there is 30.

Seven out of 10 areas with the youngest first-time buyers have average house prices at between half and three-quarters of the national average, Halifax said.

Chris Gowland, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “The majority of areas in the country where the average age of first-time buyers is two to three years below the national average of 30 are outside southern England, mostly locations where house prices are typically lower both in monetary terms and in relation to earnings, factors that help to reduce the size of the deposit needed.

He continued: “With the youngest average first time buyer age dropping to 27 in some areas, this is a stark reminder of how early aspiring home owners should start thinking about what they will need to get onto the property ladder and what options they should consider in order to take their first step.”

Homes in nine of the 10 areas with the youngest first-time buyers cost less than 5.8 times their wages typically. The national average house price to average earnings ratio for first-time buyers is 5.8.

In Brent in London, where the average age of a first-time buyer is 33, buyers need to find more than 12 times their annual wages to get on their property ladder.

But in Barnsley, where the average first-time buyer is 28, they need to find less than four times their yearly wages to buy a home.

First-time buyers generally are typically a year older than a decade ago and two years older than when Halifax’s records started in 1983.

The average first-time buyer age in London has increased by three years since 1983, when it was 29.

Halifax said Government schemes and the “bank of mum and dad” are likely to have prevented a sharper rise in the average age of first-time buyers.

It said the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) estimated that 62% of first-time buyers in 2014 became homeowners either with assistance from family or Help to Buy schemes.

Halifax used figures from its own database and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the research.

Here is the average age of a first-time buyer across the UK, according to Halifax:

:: North East, 29

:: North West, 30

:: Yorkshire and the Humber, 29

:: East Midlands, 30

:: West Midlands, 30

:: East of England, 31

:: London, 32

:: South East, 32

:: South West, 30

:: Wales, 30

:: Scotland, 30

:: Northern Ireland, 31

Here are the areas with the youngest first-time buyers, according to Halifax, with the average first-time buyer age, the average first-time buyer house price and the average house price to earnings ratio:

:: Carlisle, North West, 27, £122,826, 4.4

:: Torfaen, Wales, 27, £113,123, 4.1

:: Redditch, West Midlands, 28, £162,148, 6.3

:: Newark and Sherwood, East Midlands, 28, £144,811, 4.2

:: Doncaster, Yorkshire and the Humber, 28, £110,024, 4.0

:: Barnsley, Yorkshire and the Humber, 28, £112,182, 3.9

:: Waveney, East of England, 28, £155,059, 5.5

:: Blackburn with Darwen, North West, 28, £108,527, 4.3

:: Calderdale, Yorkshire and the Humber, 28, £125,369, 4.2

:: Broadland, East of England, 28, £181,619, 5.7


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