First Time Buyers Faced with 'Unobtainable' Prices

The cost of buying a house in England for first time buyers has risen by an average of 28% over the last four years according to recent research published by online estate agent, eMoov. The average percentage is (obviously) achieved by contrasting the numbers from around the country so they do vary according to different cities and counties, but the numbers are still a cause for concern among usually younger people trying to get their foot on the first rung of the property ladder.

The Best and Worst Value in England

That 28% rise means the average cost of a first time home has risen by £42,451 on average over the last four years, with the cost of buying for the first time now tipping £196,000. However, average house prices in general have only risen by 26% over the same four year period, meaning first time home prices have risen by a further 2%. In the capital, the difference is even more distinct as the average cost of a first time home is much higher than the country's overall average at £462,602, which is a massive rise of 54% over the last four years.

The best value to be found in England is in the county of Durham in the north east of the country, where the average price of buying a home for the first time stands at an average of £86,116. Over the last four years, prices in Durham have risen by just 3% which is a real increase of just £2,600. This low increase appears to be due to low demand in the area.

Many First Time Homes are 'Unobtainable'

The CEO of eMoov, Russel Quirk, had some harsh words for the UK Government in response to the findings. He said, "First time buyers are paying almost as much as second and third steppers in actual price terms yet the percentage increase in first time buyer properties is tracking at even greater than regular house prices. It really does highlight the issue facing the nation's next generation of aspirational home owners. How the government expect anyone to get on in life when the first hurdle they face is all but unobtainable, to begin with, is beyond me, especially in London.

"Over 90% of the capital's boroughs have seen the price paid by first time buyers increase by more than £100,000 in just four or so short years. We must address this issue and find a way to bring home ownership back in reach of the average home buyer, not just in London, or the surrounding commuter counties, but to the whole of England."

It is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, especially as the first time buyers are important cogs in the housing market machine. Without them the second steppers struggle to find buyers for their homes when they want to move on, and that stasis can end up paralysing the whole market.