London is Not the Least Affordable City for First-Time Buyers

While not everyone lives in a city, hundreds of thousands do. Many of those rent, owing to the high property prices that make buying a city-based property a real challenge – especially for first-time buyers. However, recent research conducted by Post Office Money has revealed some cities are more affordable than others. The data shows the percentage of properties in each city that are deemed as affordable for first-time buyers to purchase. It also reveals the average asking price for a property in each city. Where does London rank? Many would reasonably assume London would be the least-affordable city of the 14 used in the study, and indeed it does pose challenges. Only 30% of the available properties are thought to be affordable for first-time buyers. These individuals are also looking at an average asking price of around £534,000. However, despite those figures, London only makes it into third place. Second place goes to Bristol, where 29% of properties are thought to be affordable for FTBs. The average asking price here drops considerably to £268,000. But even this is soundly beaten into second place by the one city where very few first-time buyers manage to purchase their own property. Brighton was clearly in first place, with just 2% of properties available at prices that put them within reach of a first-time buyer. The average price sought here is £352,000. Tough times for Brighton buyers While London often gets the share of the headlines, Brighton has largely gone unnoticed up until now – except, perhaps, by those living there who are struggling to get on the housing ladder. “It’s surprising how significantly the picture changes for first-time buyers in Brighton compared with any other city in this study,” said Darren Pescod, CEO of The Mortgage Broker Ltd. “We would naturally expect house-buying to be more difficult for those living in cities, yet the data puts the reality into sharp focus. Those living in the top three cities mentioned in the research will know only too well the challenges they face in trying to buy their first property.” Easier living in other cities Meanwhile, cities at the other end of the spectrum fared well in the research. Southampton came in 14th place, with a huge 98% of properties in the area said to be within reach of first-time buyers. The average price here is £199,000. Next came Norwich, with an average price just £2,000 lower than Southampton, and a full 93% of properties within reach. “Everyone would expect London to be near or at the top of the list in research like this,” Darren Pescod added. “But I’m sure many of those in or around the Brighton area won’t be surprised at the data. Anyone faced with the challenge of trying to get on the housing ladder in this city will know only too well how hard it is to achieve.” With such a big gap between the first- and second-placed cities on the list, it doesn’t look as though things will be getting any easier for those in Brighton any time soon.