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Advice for first-time buyers: house prices by region

19th November 2021 Print

It’s never been an easy feat to buy your first home, but with house prices now rising exponentially and without signs of stopping, it’s harder than ever before to fly the nest.

Some house-hunters might’ve noticed that properties vary in price depending on their location. Certain areas see localised differences, but in this guide, we’ll look at price trends by region – and how to keep the costs down.

Getting on the ladder

Unfortunately, there are obstacles to conquer before considering the price of the house itself. While the coronavirus pandemic placed financial strain on families across the country, it also paved way for opportunities to save. Official reports found that household savings increased from 8.9% in the first quarter of 2021 to a striking 25.9% in the second.

For younger people, this might’ve meant a few more months with the family. Even with a little bit more in the bank, saving the cash is only the precursor to initiating the buying process. Without a lump sum or any inheritance, it’s easy to feel stuck.

A helping hand

Government schemes have been put in place to assist first-time buyers, including an inviting government-backed equity loan allowing first-time buyers in England to buy a newbuild, and with only a 5% deposit necessary.

The revamped Help to Buy scheme lends up to 20% (or 40% in London) of the asking price, interest-free and for five years. Don’t get confused with the previous Help-to-Buy ISAs, offered by banks until November 2019 – the latest equity loans serve as their replacement.

Finding the best houses

It’s only natural to dream of a beautiful house with a big garden, but for any first-time buyer hoping to benefit from schemes including the Help-to-Buy equity loan, you’ll find a capped maximum spend depending on the region you choose.

The most generous allowances are given to those looking for property in London, in line with the city premium, and the lowest maximum prices are offered in the Northeast. Data proves that average house prices are always highest in London, with the southeast following as a close second, and a general downward trend the further north you go.

However, the price alone won’t necessarily determine that you’ll get enough ‘bang for your buck’ and it’s important to research and thoroughly consider your chosen area. Your priorities could lie in shortening your commute, being in the city or staying close to your relatives, so don’t rush into a decision.

Holding on

Finding a property as a first-time buyer can be incredibly frustrating, but don’t give up – if you’ve worked hard to save, there are resources available to help you get on the ladder.