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First time buyer misery

Want to get a foot on the property ladder? It’s getting even harder, according to a new survey

Along with the continued rise in property prices, there’s more bad news for people looking to buy their first home. According to Halifax’s first Annual First Time Buyer Review, 80 per cent of UK towns were unaffordable for the majority of first-time buyers last year.

The Halifax’s report also reveals that first-time buyers paid 17 per cent more in 2003 than they did the previous year. Consequently, the number of first-time buyers dropped last year by 32 per cent compared to 2002.

More significantly, for the first time ever the average first-time buyer in every UK region had to pay stamp duty as property costs continued to rise. The threshold for paying stamp duty is currently £60,000.

Property notspots

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given that it led the Property Hotspots table for much of 2003, affordability for first-time buyers was lowest in East Anglia. Incredibly, the Halifax says that no towns in that region are affordable for first-time buyers. The South West was second, with 98 per cent of towns declared unaffordable.

The West Midlands, the South East and Greater London also scored highly for unaffordability. At the other end of the scale, only 44 per cent of towns in Northern Ireland and 54 per cent in Scotland were declared unaffordable.

Here are the UK's regions ranked for affordability for first-time buyers:

Region Number of towns % of housing unaffordable for first-time buyers Region Number of towns % of housing unaffordable for first-time buyers

East Anglia 23 100% East Midlands 38 83%

South West 48 98% Yorkshire & the Humber 45 75%

West Midlands 43 90% Wales 25 71%

Greater London 49 86% North West 40 62%

South East 146 86% Scotland 28 54%

North 38 84% Northern Ireland 8 44%

In 2003, the UK average house price to earnings ratio for first-time buyers was 4.27 compared to 3.64 in 2002. The highest regional house price to earnings ratios in 2003 were in Greater London, the South East and the South West.

The average deposit made by a first-time buyer in the UK is now £20,000 or 18% of the property's value compared to 19% (£18,262) in 2002.

So it seems that unless the housing market falls dramatically, first-time buyers will continue to struggle to get onto the property ladder.


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Schedule of Articles

property investing
property refurbishment
buying overseas property
moving house
home letting
buy to let
home improvements

top 10 celebrity areas
6 up & comming areas
5 signs that an area is up & comming
city types yearn for the country in town
your place in the sun
equity release
planning permissions & extensions
estate agents
rent or buy
buy to let
mortgage overpayment
mortgage endowments
mortgage protection
stamp duty
self build your home
electrical surveys
the cost of moving in
the perfect neighbourhood
council tax
house price league
good neighbours
stamp duty land tax
top 20 towns 2003
cut the cost of moving
interest rates
buying in scotland
dream homes
first time buyers
the worth of uk homes
bad estate agents
keeping up appearances
home improvements


Please note that articles on this site & any other 'planning-approval' related web site does not constitute professional advice. All articles are intended to provide a general view of many subjects. We suggest you to consult a solicitor before making any important decisions.  The author is not an expert in any given field.

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