FTB chances higher in the North, says Halifax

The North offers first-time buyers the best chance of getting on the housing ladder, according to research by Halifax.

The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is 29, but there is almost a decade’s difference between certain regions.

The youngest first-time buyers are in Selby, North Yorkshire, where the average age is 25, while the oldest first-time buyers are in Harrow, Barnet and Ealing in London and Three Rivers in the East of England, all 34.

Redcar and Cleveland in the North-East, Barrow-in-Furness in the North-West, Bolsover in the East Midlands and South Ribble in the North-West also have younger than average first-time buyers, at 26.

At a regional level, differences are less stark; the youngest first-time buyers are in the North-East, North-West, Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales and Scotland, all with an average age of 28, and the oldest are in London (32) and the South-East (31).

Typically, the areas with the youngest first-time buyers are places with both lower than average house prices, and house price to earnings ratios of less than 4.

Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Halifax, says: “There are several areas in the country where the average age of first-time buyers is three to four years below the national average of 29. 

“Most of these areas are in northern England where house prices are typically lower both in absolute terms and in relation to earnings, helping to limit the size of the deposit needed.

“In contrast, in London and many areas of the South-East the time needed to save up for a deposit can be lengthy, resulting in first-time buyers who are typically several years older than in the rest of the country.”