Britain’s best property pockets for first-time buyers

The latest research from lettings and estate agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed which areas of the property market are currently the most first-time buyer (FTB) friendly based on current price, annual change and cost compared to the broader average in each area.

barrows and forrester estate agent property birmingham lichfield

The research shows that both the average price paid by FTBs and the average price paid across the broader market have both increased by 2.9% in the last year. However, at a current average of £198,513, FTBs are still getting on the ladder at a lower cost to the wider average of £238,414. 

Overall house price

When it comes to overall affordability, Inverclyde is home to the lowest price paid by FTBS at £72,435. East Ayrshire (£74,876), the Western Isles (£76,122) and North Ayrshire (£87,447) are also amongst some of the most affordable FTB areas of Britain for outright house price.  

In England, County Durham (£90,488), Tyne and Wear (£121,976), Lancashire (£122,721) and Merseyside (£124,725) are home to some of the lowest prices paid by FTBS, while Blaenau Gwent (£95,729), Merthyr Tydfil (£99,995), Rhondda Cynon Taf (£105,380) and Neath Port Talbot (£116,805) are the most affordable markets in Wales. 

In contrast, the average FTB is paying £924,576 in the City of London although this drops considerably to the next most expensive county, with the cost coming in at £335,933 in Surrey. 

Annual house price growth

18 areas of Britain have seen the average FTB house price drop or remain static over the last year. 

13 of these areas are located in Scotland, with the Western Isles (-24.8%), Inverclyde (-12.7%) and East Lothian (-9.3%) seeing the most considerable reductions. 

Gwynedd (-3.5%) is the only area of Wales to see the average FTB house price drop in the last year. In England, County Durham (-0.5%), Cambridgeshire (-0.4%), Hertfordshire (-0.1%) and Bedfordshire (0%) have remained largely flat. 

Biggest FTB discounts

When it comes to the most significant FTB discounts when comparing the average FTB house price with the wider average in each area, Perth and Kinross is currently the best place to buy your first home. The average FTB house price of £140,886 is -26.1% more affordable than the wider average of £190,758 in the area.

In England, FTBs can find the biggest relative discounts in Surrey (-25.3%), Bucks (-25.2%), Herefordshire (-23.1%), Hampshire (-21.8%) and Rutland (-21.5%). Monmouthshire (-22.3%), Vale of Glamorgan (-16.8%), Flintshire (-15.7%) and Anglesey (-15.6%) are home to the biggest FTB discounts in the Welsh market. 

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:

“Buying your first home is a huge mile marker in life, and finding the right property can be a daunting process.

For many, affordability will be the deciding factor and the price paid by first-time buyers varies dramatically across Britain, with the majority of areas seeing this cost of getting on the ladder increase over the last year.  

However, while Scotland is home to the greatest wealth of first-time buyer affordability, those house hunting at the other end of Britain are unlikely to up sticks and move that far from their desired area. 

The good news is that all but one area of Britain is home to a lower price paid by first-time buyers when compared to the wider market. With this relative discount ranging from around five to 25 per cent.  

While first-time buyers may have a location in mind, expanding their search to the surrounding areas could mean a much more affordable property or a more significant saving.”

Table shows the current average house price for both first-time buyers and the wider market in each region, the annual change for both and the difference between the two to demonstrate the FTB discount available. Ranked by largest percentage FTB discount to lowest. Source: The Land Registry House Price Index.
LocationFTB Average House PriceAnnual FTB Increase (%)Average House PriceAnnual Increase (%)FTB Discount (%)
South East£260,0802.0%£324,6592.0%-19.9%
South West£215,4353.4%£261,0063.4%-17.5%
East of England£242,0190.6%£290,6210.7%-16.7%
West Midlands Region£170,3613.5%£203,6583.4%-16.3%
East Midlands£166,3802.8%£197,5052.9%-15.8%
North West£141,7592.5%£168,2612.6%-15.8%
Yorkshire and The Humber£145,6774.6%£170,1984.9%-14.4%
North East£115,2864.1%£134,5454.4%-14.3%
Great Britain£198,5132.9%£238,4142.9%-16.7%
Research by Barrows and Forrester based on house price data for May 2020 (latest available)
Table shows the current average house price for both first-time buyers and the wider market in each area, the annual change for both and the difference between the two to demonstrate the FTB discount available. Ranked by largest percentage FTB discount to lowest. Source: The Land Registry House Price Index.
LocationFTB Average House PriceAnnual FTB Increase (%)Average House PriceAnnual Increase (%)FTB Discount (%)Nation
Perth and Kinross£140,8861.1%£190,7581.8%-26.1%SCOTLAND
East Renfrewshire£182,6676.2%£246,5277.4%-25.9%SCOTLAND
East Lothian£157,107-9.3%£211,448-8.4%-25.7%SCOTLAND
East Dunbartonshire£166,1705.6%£223,3456.5%-25.6%SCOTLAND
Surrey£335,9333.7%£449,5114.1%-25.3%SOUTH EAST
Buckinghamshire£301,7800.8%£403,4981.1%-25.2%SOUTH EAST
Herefordshire£187,4014.5%£243,6514.7%-23.1%WEST MIDLANDS
Argyll and Bute£108,126-1.0%£139,004-0.7%-22.2%SCOTLAND
Hampshire£247,2491.9%£316,3002.1%-21.8%SOUTH EAST
South Ayrshire£109,7118.8%£140,1909.4%-21.7%SCOTLAND
South Lanarkshire£103,0073.4%£131,5794.4%-21.7%SCOTLAND
Scottish Borders£123,7857.7%£157,7228.4%-21.5%SCOTLAND
Rutland£255,0929.0%£324,9429.0%-21.5%EAST MIDLANDS
Dorset£226,0990.4%£287,0380.5%-21.2%SOUTH WEST
West Sussex£254,9200.8%£323,5291.0%-21.2%SOUTH EAST
Gloucestershire£219,2405.2%£277,5175.6%-21.0%SOUTH WEST
Wiltshire£217,4761.7%£274,5731.9%-20.8%SOUTH WEST
Worcestershire£194,4622.0%£242,5172.2%-19.8%WEST MIDLANDS
Hertfordshire£316,988-0.1%£395,2020.3%-19.8%EAST OF ENGLAND
Devon£215,7384.5%£268,8564.5%-19.8%SOUTH WEST
City of Edinburgh£219,6663.1%£273,6013.7%-19.7%SCOTLAND
Shropshire£175,7942.2%£217,7642.3%-19.3%WEST MIDLANDS
Suffolk£197,0761.3%£243,9201.3%-19.2%EAST OF ENGLAND
Warwickshire£206,5912.7%£255,6852.9%-19.2%WEST MIDLANDS
East Ayrshire£74,876-1.2%£92,576-0.7%-19.1%SCOTLAND
Cheshire£178,8440.8%£221,0101.0%-19.1%NORTH WEST
West Lothian£135,7873.8%£167,7024.2%-19.0%SCOTLAND
Somerset£194,0033.6%£239,0093.7%-18.8%SOUTH WEST
Isle of Wight£178,9191.4%£220,3361.4%-18.8%SOUTH EAST
East Sussex£232,8562.8%£286,5853.0%-18.7%SOUTH EAST
Northumberland£130,6768.0%£160,4788.3%-18.6%NORTH EAST
Lancashire£122,7214.7%£150,1114.9%-18.2%NORTH WEST
North Yorkshire£189,4336.2%£231,6106.4%-18.2%YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER
Kent£243,3222.2%£297,1952.3%-18.1%SOUTH EAST
Berkshire£296,7701.3%£360,7941.7%-17.7%SOUTH EAST
Oxfordshire£295,3184.2%£358,8474.6%-17.7%SOUTH EAST
Essex£259,5741.4%£314,8511.7%-17.6%EAST OF ENGLAND
Cornwall£202,5367.9%£245,5258.0%-17.5%SOUTH WEST
North Ayrshire£87,447-3.8%£105,982-3.6%-17.5%SCOTLAND
North Lanarkshire£92,3373.2%£111,8453.8%-17.4%SCOTLAND
East Riding of Yorkshire£151,2521.4%£183,1811.6%-17.4%YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER
Cumbria£130,7100.4%£157,9690.8%-17.3%NORTH WEST
Norfolk£192,7192.9%£232,2242.9%-17.0%EAST OF ENGLAND
Vale of Glamorgan£200,9236.7%£241,5236.9%-16.8%WALES
Bedfordshire£228,0380.0%£273,6230.2%-16.7%EAST OF ENGLAND
Nottinghamshire£154,0254.7%£184,5834.6%-16.6%EAST MIDLANDS
Staffordshire£167,3235.2%£199,6695.3%-16.2%WEST MIDLANDS
City of Aberdeen£124,338-4.0%£148,357-3.3%-16.2%SCOTLAND
Leicestershire£195,4663.0%£233,2152.9%-16.2%EAST MIDLANDS
Lincolnshire£158,4292.7%£188,8362.6%-16.1%EAST MIDLANDS
Northamptonshire£196,7823.1%£233,9933.3%-15.9%EAST MIDLANDS
Isle of Anglesey£150,6115.3%£178,4545.3%-15.6%WALES
Derbyshire£155,5393.4%£184,2723.7%-15.6%EAST MIDLANDS
Na h-Eileanan Siar£76,122-24.8%£89,802-24.5%-15.2%SCOTLAND
Cambridgeshire£246,731-0.4%£290,858-0.2%-15.2%EAST OF ENGLAND
Merseyside£124,7251.5%£145,8821.6%-14.5%NORTH WEST
City of Dundee£107,770-0.1%£125,8570.3%-14.4%SCOTLAND
Dumfries and Galloway£111,0570.3%£128,9090.6%-13.8%SCOTLAND
Greater Manchester£155,0904.8%£179,5504.9%-13.6%NORTH WEST
West Midlands£162,8492.1%£187,3152.0%-13.1%WEST MIDLANDS
Tyne and Wear£121,9760.5%£140,2480.7%-13.0%NORTH EAST
Shetland Islands£143,4037.0%£164,6747.2%-12.9%SCOTLAND
West Dunbartonshire£103,88313.6%£118,79513.7%-12.6%SCOTLAND
South Yorkshire£130,0873.6%£148,4693.7%-12.4%YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER
West Yorkshire£139,9051.5%£159,2781.7%-12.2%YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER
County Durham£90,488-0.5%£102,753-0.3%-11.9%NORTH EAST
Merthyr Tydfil£99,9555.5%£112,8525.5%-11.4%WALES
Orkney Islands£120,494-6.9%£135,454-7.3%-11.0%SCOTLAND
City of Glasgow£121,9822.3%£135,1102.7%-9.7%SCOTLAND
Rhondda Cynon Taf£105,3806.3%£116,5036.4%-9.5%WALES
City of Bristol£259,5952.6%£284,4032.7%-8.7%SOUTH WEST
Neath Port Talbot£116,8056.5%£125,5306.5%-7.0%WALES
Blaenau Gwent£95,72911.2%£100,58511.2%-4.8%WALES
City of London£924,57625.4%£899,83125.0%2.7%LONDON
Research by Barrows and Forrester based on house price data for May 2020 (latest available)

Posted on September 17, 2020

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