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Where can you afford to buy your first home?

Find out how affordable property is in your region using our interactive map

Buyers under 40 now need to spend more than five times their annual income on their first home in the majority of the UK – but our interactive map reveals the most budget-friendly areas.

We’ve looked at the average price of homes bought by first-time buyers in 355 local authority areas of England, Scotland and Wales during February 2017, and compared this with the average earnings of 22 to 39 year olds in each area.

The results make for grim reading, with only 46 areas (13%) boasting an average first property price less than five times the average income of a buyer under 40 years old.

You can find out how affordable your area really is by checking out our interactive map below.

  • Getting a mortgage can be a confusing business, especially if you’re buying a house for the first time. For some impartial, expert advice tailored to your circumstances, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0808 252 7987.

Can you afford to buy property in your area?

The amount you’ll be able to borrow when buying your first home depends largely on how much you earn – lenders will generally cap your borrowings at three or four times your annual salary.

When we looked at the average income for 22 to 39 year olds across Britain, however, most regions had average prices well outside this range. This means there’s increasing pressure on first-time buyers to save a bigger deposit.

In seven regions, the average first home price is 15 to 18 times higher than the average salary for young people, placing property well out of reach for many prospective first-time buyers.

Of course, we’ve looked at average prices and incomes, and there will be cheaper first-time buyer properties available. But the data shows the increasing challenge under-40s face as they seek to enter the property ownership market.

This table shows the average income to property price ratio across the 355 local authorities.

Annual income multiple Number of local authorities
3-5 times 46
5-8 times 149
8-10 times 98
10-15 times 55
15-18 times 7

All is not lost, however. By hovering over the interactive map below, you can find the most affordable places to buy your first property.

The most affordable areas for first-time buyers

The cost of an average first-time buyer property increased by 6.5% year-on-year in February, according to official statistics published by the Land Registry.

While home ownership might seem like a distant dream for many buyers under 40, there are still some areas where properties are affordable – although you might have to look a little further afield.

This table shows the cheapest areas where first-time buyers have an opportunity to get on to the property ladder.

Local authority Mean earnings of 22-39 year-olds  Average first-time buyer price Income multiple
Burnley £21,483 £73,121 3.4
Copeland £30,067 £102,699 3.42
Inverclyde £22,975 £79,385 3.46
South Lanarkshire £26,946 £93,284 3.46
North Lanarkshire £23,744 £82,221 3.46
Blaenau Gwent £21,480 £74,705 3.48
East Ayrshire £20,698 £73,090 3.53
North Ayrshire £22,342 £79,837 3.57
Renfrewshire £25,134 £92,953 3.7

The most expensive places outside London

It’s no secret that London’s property market is in its own stratosphere. Indeed, the nine most expensive areas for under 40s are in the capital.

Westminster tops the list, with an average first-time buyer price of £984,889 – a whopping 18 times the average salary.

With this in mind, the table below instead shows the most expensive places outside of London for under 40s – with some of the most eye-watering figures found in popular cities such as Oxford and Cambridge.

Local authority Mean earnings 22-39 Average first-time buyer price Income multiple
Oxford £26,939 £363,548 13.5
Hertsmere £28,343 £371,235 13.1
Cambridge £29,126 £365,272 12.54
Chichester £22,988 £285,704 12.43
Brighton and Hove £25,151 £310,214 12.33
Welwyn Hatfield £27,112 £324,005 11.95
Broxbourne £25,190 £300,518 11.93
Cotswold £23,522 £276,951 11.77

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.

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