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More than a third of homes sold in 2015 were in ‘unaffordable’ areas for first-time buyers

In 2015, 36% of properties sold were in areas where the average property was ‘unaffordable’ for first-time buyers, according to recent research.

UK House Prices Increase

In 2015, 36% of properties sold were in areas where the average property was ‘unaffordable’ for first-time buyers, according to recent research.

The study, carried out by the Post Office Money Mortgages, explores the affordability of properties across Britain by calculating the average home value and comparing it to the average annual salary of a first-time buyer in that specific area.


Comparing affordability figures from 1995 and 2015, the Post Office Money Mortgages created a list of 14 cities in Britain detailing which locations had the highest and lowest proportion of ‘affordable’ homes in 1995 and in 2015.


Unaffordable properties were classified as those worth 5.51 times more than the average first-time buyer’s average salary.


Over the course of the past 20 years, Brighton has seen the biggest decrease in affordable properties, with affordability for first-time buyers falling from 100% in 1995 to just 9% in 2015 – a decrease of 91%.


Elsewhere in the UK, the shift has been less drastic. Despite seeing the second largest decrease in affordability, with a fall of 42%, 48% of Cardiff’s properties remain affordable to first-time buyers. London, placing third in the report, has seen affordability drop from 81% to 41% - a 40% decrease.


Conversely, the report found that Southampton, Norwich and Manchester offer the best value for first-time buyers. Southampton has seen a shift from 100% affordability to 94%, a minimal decrease of just 6%, whilst Norwich and Manchester have fallen by just 7% and 9% respectively.


With first-time buyers continuing to struggle within the market, the recent surge in house prices driven by the rush of investors looking to beat Stamp Duty increases is likely to exacerbate this trend, with Nationwide reporting last month that the average UK house price has risen above £200,000 for the first time.


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