For many a first time buyer, a combination of factors such as rising prices, lack of affordable housing supply, and prohibitive stamp duty have put dreams of homeownership out of reach.
However, when the Chancellor scrapped Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 of a house price in the Autumn Budget 2017, many saw the move as a positive step towards getting people onto the property ladder. So with up to an extra £5,000 now in their budget, first-time buyers have a little extra push towards a purchase – but where should they be looking to find the best deal?
Hull topped Zoopla’s list of the top 10 most affordable cities for first-time home-buyers; the average deposit for a property here is £15,656 – a whopping £62,071 below the average in London. It was named the UK’s City of Culture in 2017, and with a great deal of regeneration already underway, residents can expect this city to thrive in the coming years. Hull city centre, in particular, is expected to undergo significant growth as plans for new housing, leisure facilities, car parking, and retail outlets have already been unveiled.
House prices have declined in Middlesbrough, but while that’s unwelcome news for homeowners and investors, it provides a window of opportunity for first-time buyers. The average price dipped by 3pc last year to just £94,767, a figure well below the national average. Furthermore, in 2017, the city made property news when it was announced that the city would be one of 30 local authority areas throughout England to receive new developments of starter homes being built on former brownfield sites. These houses will be available only to young, first-time buyers aged between 23 and 40, and will be so at a listing price at least 20pc below market value.
“Affordable” and “London” don’t often go together in the same sentence, but for professionals who are tied to work in the city, there are some emerging areas in which property can still be bought for a price below the capital’s average of £602,539. Located in southeast London, Sydenham is a bustling area of its own accord whilst also having great links into London Bridge (accessible by train in just 15 minutes). The average price for a flat in the area is around the £366,000-£380,000 mark, and there houses for sale under the Help to Buy London scheme to make saving a deposit a little easier.
While the stamp duty reduction has been welcome news for property buyers, with the average house price in the UK sitting at £226,906 (April 2018), first-time buyers are charged with the task of gathering together a substantial deposit. By looking at property for sale in up-and-coming markets, they can make the most of the money saved by stamp duty changes and get one step closer to becoming property owners.