First-time buyers in England are now paying out an average of just over £196,000 for their home, a rise of £42,451 or 28% over the last four years, new research shows.
Over the same period the average house price has increased by 26%, highlighting the ever growing obstacle many first time buyers face getting onto the housing ladder, according to the report from hybrid estate agent eMoov.
The situation is harder in London where the current price paid on average by first time buyers is £462,602, by £54% since up 2012 while at £86,116, County Durham in the north east of England offers the best value for those looking to get on the property ladder.
Durham has struggled in recent times where the property market is concerned, with low demand seeing prices drop, although this has at least benefited first time buyers in the area, the report says. But prices have increased by just 3% or £2,600 since 2012, the lowest across England.
In London even the top five most affordable boroughs have average house prices for first time buyers well above the UK average. The most affordable at £254,600 is Barking and Dagenham, followed by Havering at £281,836, Bexley at £285,464, Croydon at £301,001 and Sutton at £312,978.
In 2012 the average first time buyer price for each borough was below £200,000, but since then first time buyers in each of these five boroughs seen an increase of between £95,000 and £118,000.
Kensington and Chelsea at £1.1m is the most expensive borough in the capital for first time buyers, followed by Westminster at £906,882, the City of London at £711,009, Camden at £669,020 and Hammersmith and Fulham at £690,296.
The highest prices for first time buyers outside of London are Surrey with an average of £323,973, Hertfordshire at £305,043, Berkshire at £292,227, Oxfordshire at 286,962 and Buckinghamshire at £286,511. These areas have seen first time buyer prices rise by between £80,000 and £96,000 since 2012.
“First time buyers are paying almost as much as second and third steppers in actual price terms yet the percentage increase in first time buyer properties is tracking at even greater than regular house prices. It really does highlight the issue facing the nation’s next generation of aspirational home owners,” said Russel Quirk, chief executive officer of eMoov.
“How the government expect anyone to get on in life when the first hurdle they face is all but unobtainable, to begin with, is beyond me, especially in London. Over 90% of the capital’s boroughs have seen the price paid by first time buyers increase by more than £100,000 in just four or so short years,” he pointed out.
“We must address this issue and find a way to bring home ownership back in reach of the average home buyer, not just in London, or the surrounding commuter counties, but to the whole of England,” he added.