While celebrities can often be seen splashing millions of pounds on their first homes, the average first-time buyer (FTB) is spending £223,751 on their first property.
In fact, the average FTB needs to find £43,623 more than they did in 2016 to secure their first own property, a 24 per cent increase, according to data shared with City A.M. this morning by Direct Line Home Insurance.
Over the same period, the average salary of a thirtysomething, the decade that most people buy their first property, has risen by just 10 per cent, leaving them with a huge deficit.
A typical FTB property is now worth roughly seven times a 30–39-year old’s annual salary, a rise from 2016 when it was six times, making the first rung on the property ladder increasingly hard to reach.
FTB prices are being impacted by the movements of those in their 30s across the country.
London most expensive market
Unsurprisingly, London is the most expensive first-time buyer market, with average prices reaching £440,590 last year.
However, it is also the region with the most stagnant FTB market, rising by just seven per cent (£30,323) over the past five years.
The five London boroughs that saw the sharpest increase in FTB prices (Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Havering) also saw a rise in 30–39-year-old residents. These boroughs saw a FTB price increase of £55,112, or 16 per cent over the past five years.
Over the same time the number of young people living in these areas grew by four per cent.
Across London, the population of 30–39-year-olds fell by one per cent as young people looked outside of the capital for their first home – potentially due to their change in working patterns since the Pandemic hit.
Similarly, the areas with the highest FTB prices (Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, the City, Camden and Hammersmith) – averaging house prices of £782,773 saw a five per cent decrease in 39-39 year old residents over the past five years.
Changes in first time buyer house prices
|Region||Average FTB price, 2016||Average FTB price, 2021||Change (£)||Change (per cent)|
|North West||£125,443||£169,256||£43,812||35 per cent|
|Wales||£126,901||£170,246||£43,345||34 per cent|
|West Midlands Region||£147,764||£192,979||£45,215||31 per cent|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||£129,152||£168,506||£39,354||30 per cent|
|South West||£193,408||£245,336||£51,928||27 per cent|
|Scotland||£113,520||£139,159||£25,639||23 per cent|
|East of England||£224,061||£268,568||£44,507||20 per cent|
|North East||£109,489||£130,956||£21,467||20 per cent|
|South East||£245,557||£286,716||£41,159||17 per cent|
|London||£410,266||£440,590||£30,323||7 per cent|
|Great Britain||£180,128||£223,751||£43,623||24 per cent|
“This generation of property owners are facing the challenge of dramatically increasing property prices in traditionally popular areas such as London and instead are buying in places that are less well-known,” said Dan Simson, Head of Direct Line Home Insurance.
“The rate at which FTB prices have been increasing is frankly frightening,”Dan Simson
“We may see an even more dramatic emergence of these ‘young towns & cities’ with the increasing prevalence of remote working that enables people to be far more flexible as to where they live,” Simson added.
“Given the commitment people need to make to get on the property ladder, it is vital they protect their investment with insurance should the worst happen,” he noted.
Across the UK
The average first property price, in the ten local authorities that saw the greatest increase in residents aged 30-39 between 2016 and 2021, rose by 24 per cent.
In the 10 authorities with the greatest decrease in number of 30–39-year-old residents, there was a two per cent decrease in FTB prices.
Areas with an above-average increase in residents of those in their 30s, saw FTB prices rise by 22 per cent over the past five years, compared to just 10 per cent in areas with a below-average increase of residents in this age group.
Looking more deeply into local FTB hotspots, the areas with the fastest growing prices in Britain are Burnley in Lancashire (up 45 per cent over the past five years), the Orkney Islands on the north coast of Scotland (44 per cent), Rossendale, Lancashire (42 per cent), Bury (40 per cent) and Rutland, East Midlands (40 per cent).
These five councils averaged a house value of £119,735 in 2016 and this rose by £50,158 to £169,893 in 2021, an increase of 42 per cent.
These five areas also saw a nine per cent increase in residents aged 30–39-year-old over the same timeframe, compared to a national average increase of just five per cent.