House prices:Brighton is now less affordable than London for first-time buyers

As house prices continue to rise faster than wages, first-time buyers are priced out of 90 per cent of Brighton and more than half of London...

A new report reveals that more than a third of UK homes are in areas that are out of reach of first-time buyers.

Londoners face the biggest leap to reach the first rung of the ladder, with the average property in the capital now costing £498,000, almost 20 times more than the average first-time buyer's income of £25,000.

But the Post Office Money's Priced Out report, which compares average house prices with average wages over the last 20 years, reveals that it's still possible to find a starter home in 40 per cent of the city. Unsurprisingly, the most affordable areas are in the capital's outer districts, such as Barking and Dagenham, Newham, and Bexley and Havering, where one- and two-bedroom flats can still be found for under £200,000.


London is now the UK's second least affordable city for first-time buyers after being overtaken by Brighton, where speedy commutes to the capital and demand for comparatively cheaper properties have pushed up prices by 24 per cent to £305,000 over the last five years. This has left just nine per cent of the city affordable to first-timers.

"Cities such as Brighton are becoming unaffordable ‘blackspots’ for those looking to get on the ladder, with average property prices far beyond the typical budget. These figures highlight the challenges facing today’s first-time buyers," says John Willcock, head of mortgages at Post Office Money.

"The London property market has always been more challenging for new buyers to break into, which is why many instead turned to surrounding areas within a commutable distance – which in turn are becoming increasingly unaffordable.” 

With average house prices of £183,500, 94 per cent of Southampton is affordable to first-time buyers, making it the UK's most affordable city for first-timers, closely followed by Norwich in the east and Nottingham in the East Midlands.

However, getting on the ladder still requires compromise, with nine out 10 buyers being forced to lower their expectations to get on the ladder by looking outside their ideal area and buying further from transport links.

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