The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has been crowned Britain’s most popular area for first-time buyers, according to new research.
Property site Zoopla analysed demand from first-time buyers over the past three months to create the list of locations with the highest percentage of demand from people identifying as first-time buyers.
Outside of London, Leicester comes out on top for first-time buyers in the East Midlands, Bristol is the most popular location in the South West and, in Scotland, Midlothian is the most popular hotspot for those looking to buy their first home.
A noticeable trend across the most popular areas is that they are within reach of the UK’s biggest cities but still relatively affordable. For example, first-time buyers who want to live in Manchester are looking at up-and-coming Oldham instead of the city centre, whilst those who want to live and work in Birmingham are interested in near-by Wolverhampton.
The cost of getting on the property ladder varies across the UK. First-time buyers in the number one hotspot of Barking and Dagenham are looking at properties priced at an average of £300,000 ($390,000) and would need a deposit of £45,000 and an income of £56,667 to buy, the research found.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, where Bradford is the most popular location, the typical first-time buyer inquires about properties priced at £110,000 and would need a deposit of £16,500 and to be earning £20,778.
Richard Donnell, research director at Zoopla, said: “First-time buyers are the largest buyer group in the housing market, accounting for close to two in every five sales.
“Low mortgage rates and increased availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages have supported the growth in first-time buyer numbers over the last five years.
“Much of the growth in first-time buyer numbers has been recorded in regional housing markets where the cost of buying remains attractive.
“Our analysis shows that first-time buyers are seeking out the most affordable areas which deliver the best value for money in terms of accessibility and property type and size.
“In the highest-priced markets, first-time buyers are seeking two-bed homes but across large parts of the country first-time buyers are seeking out three-bed homes.”
The UK’s most popular locations for first-time buyers and average price of the property
Barking and Dagenham, London, £300,000, three-bedroom terraced
Tower Hamlets, London, £435,000, two-bedroom flat
Newham, London, £340,000, two-bedroom flat
Reading, south-east England, £240,000, two-bedroom flat
City of Wolverhampton District, West Midlands, £145,000, three-bedroom semi
Thurrock, east of England, £260,000, three-bedroom terraced
Greenwich, London, £340,000, two-bedroom flat
Luton, east of England, £215,000, three-bedroom semi
Southwark, London, £435,000, two-bedroom flat
Crawley, south-east England, £255,000, three-bedroom terraced