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The surprising 'best city' for first-time buyers in the UK

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
The view from Sheffield City College. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Images

Sheffield is the best place in Britain for first-time buyers to buy a city centre apartment, according to new research.

The lender Together Money drew up a league table of the UK’s biggest cities, looking at average apartment costs, average wages, bills and transport costs.

It said Sheffield topped the list largely because it boasted the lowest price for apartments, with homes sold at an average of £1,220 per square metre.

The average mortgage reported for Sheffield is just over 23% of the average income, the lowest proportion of any city.

Oxford was at the bottom of the league table, with the average price per square metre of £7,633 – more than six times as expensive as Sheffield.

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The average Oxford mortgage also appears to be well out of reach for first-time buyers, coming in at 133% of average local incomes.

Newcastle ranked second best for young people hoping to get on the property market, followed by Aberdeen, Glasgow and Leeds. At the bottom end of the table, Oxford was followed by Brighton, Cambridge, London and then Liverpool.

Together Money used figures from Numbeo in December 2018.

The ‘best cities’ for first-time buyers. Photo: Together Money