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Milton Keynes tops FTB hotspots list

Milton Keynes, Dartford and Swindon are the UK’s property hot spots for Britons looking to get their foot on the housing ladder.

Sarah Davidson, 26 April, 2012

Research from Experian PropertyCheck claimed first-time buyers in the UK have been "flocking" to Milton Keynes, where they make up almost one in 10 households (9.5%) in the town, closely followed by Dartford (9.3%) and Swindon (8.9%).

The top ten first-time buyer hotspots in the UK are:

1. Milton Keynes (9.5%)

2. Dartford (9.3%)

3. Swindon (8.9%)

4. Aldershot (8.6%)

5. Hempstead Valley (8.2%)

6. Basingstoke (8.1%)

7. Crawley (7.8%)

8. Slough (7.8%)

9. Bexleyheath (7.6%)

10. Aylesbury (6.9%)

Peter Turner, managing director of Experian Interactive, said: "In spite of difficulties across the country in getting that first foot on the property ladder, online indicators suggest the market is improving for first-time buyers.

"Year-on-year searches for ‘first time buyer mortgage' were up 8-fold and searches for ‘95% mortgages for first time buyers' more than doubled in the last 12 months."

The firm broke the first-time buyer profiles down into two groups.

First young singles and couples on middle incomes who have recently bought themselves a house on a private estate.

They are typically paying a very substantial proportion of their monthly income in the form of mortgage interest.

The other group were people who have moved into homes which have been built in the last year to 18 months - the residents have moved in as the builders have moved out.

Experian said they tend to be young, mostly under 35, single or living with their partners, though few are married, and many households will be houseshares or have a lodger to help pay the mortgage.

Kate Faulkner, managing director of Designs on Property, said: "This data shows how much the life of a first-time buyer has changed over the years and in another way, it's not changed at all.

"Most people who used to buy their first home got married first, then bought the home to have children having scrimped and saved for a deposit, with the bank of mum and dad offering second hand goods or food parcels instead of cash.

"Nowadays this shows us that buying a home is not the be all and end all, it is part of a lifestyle which now includes spending money on cars, shopping, DVDs and entertainment."

And Faulkner added: "Affordability, backed with new build first-time buyer schemes has clearly made Milton Keynes, Dartford and Swindon very attractive and practical places to live, which allows first-time purchasers to have the lifestyle as well as get on the property ladder."

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