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First-time buyers need to earn £54,400 to get on the property ladder

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
Liverpool's iconic waterfront property the Royal Liver building is viewed across the River Mersey in Birkenhead , northern England October 17 , 2016. The 105 year old  building is to be sold for the first time, for an expected 40 million pounds ($50 million). REUTERS/Phil Noble
Liverpool's waterfront. Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble

The average first-time buyer needs a household income of £54,400 to get on the property ladder in British cities, new figures suggest.

First-time buyers need to earn more now than three years ago in most UK cities, with the exception of the most expensive areas—where buying is now marginally more affordable.

The average house price in 20 UK cities is now £256,200, up 1.8% on a year ago, according to a monthly review of the UK property market by Hometrack.

Fast-rising property prices in Manchester and Leicester mean first-time buyers now need to earn around 20% more than three years ago.

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The highest increases in house prices have been in some of the most affordable cities, with prices up 5% in Liverpool and 4.6% in Belfast.

Buyers can secure their first home of their own on a total household income of £26,000 in Liverpool and Glasgow, whereas Londoners need £84,000 a year.

But the expensive cities where buyers need the highest income have seen the property market become slightly more affordable in recent years.

File photo dated 19/1/16 of terraced residential houses in south east London, as a house price freeze set in during January, with property values showing near-zero growth compared with a year ago.
London property is marginally more affordable for first-time buyers. Photo: Press Association

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London, Oxford and Cambridge have seen the average income to buy fall 5% since 2016.

The latest Hometrack report says house prices in UK cities have grown around 7% a year for the past 23 years, far outstripping growth incomes.

Separate figures released today by Lloyds Bank also show the number of homes worth £1m or more has reached a record high.

More than 14,600 homes worth at least £1m were sold in 2018, up 1% on the previous year despite a slowdown in the property market particularly in London and the south-east.