First-time home buyers are being priced out of UK cities - Countrywide

Chris Papadopoullos
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Over a third of London renters end up buying outside the M25 (Source: Getty)

Renters are looking further afield for their first property as housing affordability in cities begins to bite, research from the UK’s largest estate agency group reveals this morning.

To get on the first rung of the housing ladder, 36 per cent of London renters end up buying outside the M25, up from 21 per cent in 2008, according to Countrywide. They paid an average of £93,000 less for their first property than the value of the property they were renting.

For the UK as a whole over half of renters bought their first property outside of the town or city where they were renting, up from 36 per cent in 2008.

Countrywide said the gap between places where people can afford to rent and where they can afford to buy has widened every year since the 2008 downturn. The trend is most prominent in the South of England, with prices across London and the South East having increased 42 per cent since 2012 while rents have only go up 19 per cent.

“It’s common for first time buyers to make sacrifices to buy their first home, so with price rises in recent years outstripping income growth, more are choosing to bypass rising prices by looking further for cheaper areas,” Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide

“Renters are getting older too. With over 30s and families the fastest growing types of tenants, renters buying their first home are getting older and are more likely to do so at a later stage of life. They’re skipping owning the small central city flat, in favour of the larger family home the first time around.

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