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First-time buyer house prices soar over past decade – but not everywhere

Find out the average house price and deposit paid by first-timers around the UK

First-time buyer house prices soar over past decade – but not everywhere

The average property price for first-time buyers has risen by 21% in the past decade, according to new research from Halifax.

As first-time buyer numbers reach their highest in a decade, the average price they pay has soared from £172,659 in 2008 to £208,741 today.

First-time buyers are now the biggest group of homebuyers, with 51% of all mortgage-financed property purchases being made by first-timers between January and June 2018.

And rises in house prices over the past few years mean the average age of a first-time buyer is now 31.

First-time buyer house prices rising in most areas

The biggest increase has, unsurprisingly, been in London. First-time homebuyer prices in the capital have risen a whopping 48% in the past decade, now standing at £419,608.

The South East has seen the second-sharpest rise (37%), with first-timers there now paying £275,632. This was followed by East Anglia, which rose 30% to £210,639.

At the other end of the spectrum, first-time buyer prices in Northern Ireland have seen a substantial decrease, dropping by 33% to £124,035.

First-time buyers also saw only modest price increases in the North (8%) and Wales (9%).

You can see how much people are paying by local authority in the map below.

How much deposit are first-time buyers putting down?

The average deposit paid by a first-time buyer is now £33,127, up 71% from the 2008 average of £19,364.

As a percentage of the property price, the average deposit for the UK now stands at 16%.

This differs significantly by area, though.

In London, first-timers are parting with a hefty average deposit of £114,952 (27%). In Wales, it’s just £16,586 (12%).

Average first-time buyer (FTB) property price Average FTB mortgage Average FTB deposit Deposit as % of property price
North £126,685 £107,682 £19,003 15%
Yorkshire & The Humber £140,766 £119,651 £21,115 15%
North West £148,055 £125,847 £22,208 15%
East Midlands £163,218 £138,393 £24,825 15%
West Midlands £168,519 £142,618 £25,901 15%
East Anglia £210,639 £171,723 £38,915 18%
Wales £140,201 £123,615 £16,586 12%
South West £207,329 £169,958 £37,371 18%
South East £275,632 £222,711 £52,921 19%
Greater London £419,608 £304,656 £114,952 27%
Northern Ireland £124,035 £105,429 £18,605 15%
Scotland £139,318 £118,712 £20,605 15%
UK £208,741 £175,614 £33,127 16%

Source: Halifax

How do you buy a house?

While the number of first-time buyers is at its highest since the financial crash (175,500 in the first half of 2018), thousands are still struggling to get their foot on the property ladder.

The Halifax research found that almost a fifth of 18-34-year olds thought they’d be renting forever, and a third said they’d only be able to buy a property if they inherited cash.

This is borne out by separate ONS research showing that 34% of first-time buyers receive financial help from family.

However, there are schemes in place to help you buy a home if you’re struggling.

Schemes to help first-time buyers

Help to Buy equity loans: if you manage to save a 5% deposit, you can borrow an equity loan from the government (40% in London, 20% in the rest of England and Wales, and 15% in Scotland) and take out a mortgage on the rest.

Shared ownership: with this scheme, you can buy a share of 25-75% of a property and rent the rest from a housing association. This enables you to put down a smaller deposit at the outset.

Help to Buy Isa: if you save your deposit in a Help to Buy Isa the government will top it up by up to 25% when you buy your first home.

Lifetime Isa: launched more recently than the Help to Buy Isa, this option is for people aged 18-39 saving towards their first home or retirement. If the money is withdrawn for any other reason you will have to pay a penalty.

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

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