These are the most and least affordable areas for first-time buyers

If your goal is to get on the property ladder, you’ll know that there are some areas that might be out of reach.

But where do you have a decent chance of being able to afford your first home?

New data from Mojo Mortgages takes a look at the most – and least – affordable areas in England for first-time buyers.

The index looked at house prices, average mortgage repayments, average annual salary, and monthly take-home pay to work out where in the country is most and least accessible for those keen to buy their first house.

As you’d expect, London is ranked as one of the least affordable places, along with Bath and Oxford.

But places where you may find buying your first home easier include Bradford, Blackpool, and Stoke-on-Trent – so perhaps take a nose around here before you give up on your homeownership dreams entirely.

The most and least affordable areas for first-time buyers, based on the First Home scheme

The least affordable places in England for first-time buyers, plus the percentage of the area’s average salary a mortgage would take up*:

The most affordable places in England for first-time buyers, plus the percentage of the area’s average salary a mortgage would take up:

*Based on a 10% deposit with a mortgage term of 30 years at 3% interest.

The figures have been released following the launch of the government’s First Homes scheme this month, which is designed to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder in their local areas that might otherwise have had to move to another city to afford their first home.

First Home properties will be priced at a discount of at least 30% of the original market value to allow more affordable deposits and mortgages, with prices capped at a maximum of £250,000 (£420,000 in Greater London).

Nisha Vaidya, mortgage expert at money.co.uk, says this could help people get on the ladder, but it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford.

‘A home is one of the largest purchases you’ll make and it can be difficult to understand how much you can afford,’ said Nisha. ‘There are many factors, like your salary, regular outgoings, and debt-to-income ratio that will impact whether a home is within your reach.

‘A good rule of thumb is to allocate no more than 35% of your gross income to your monthly mortgage repayments. Any more than this and you could become “house poor”, where you own a house, but lack the funds to do other important things such as saving money or going on holiday.’

Cassie Stephenson, director of mortgages at Mojo Mortgages, added: ‘While of course it’s important to remember the 30%+ discount will apply throughout the lifetime of the property and will apply when you eventually sell for the first time, a First Homes scheme property is still very much worth considering, regardless of location as an option for first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder.

‘The savings available – particularly allowing first-time buyers access to higher LTV mortgages through reduced deposits – could also mean better access to lower interest rates and improved overall savings across the lifetime of a mortgage. Plus of course, purchasing a home is a significant long term investment towards your financial future as opposed to lining a landlord’s pocket.

‘We’re excited to see how this new scheme develops over the coming months as new properties and developments continue to crop up across England.’

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