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London first-time buyers pay 13 times salary for a home

Written by: Christina Hoghton
Aspiring first-time buyers in the capital last year could expect to spend 13 times their earnings on property, compared with 5.5 times in the North East.

London was, not surprisingly, the least affordable region for prospective first-time buyers in 14 of the last 19 years, with the North East the most affordable for 18 of the last 19 years.

Overall housing became less affordable for those who bought their first house in the vast majority (78%) of local authorities in last year compared with the previous year.

Affordability woes

Among English regions, there is a noticeable geographical divide, with regions in the north and midlands ranging from 5.5 (North East) to 8.0 (East Midlands) and those in the greater South East and South West ranging from 10.1 (South West) to 13.0 (London). Wales had an affordability ratio of 6.5.

In 2017, those who became first-time buyers in England and Wales spent on average 4.3 times their income purchasing a property with a mortgage, up from 4.2 in 2016.

However, there were 12 local authorities in which first-time buyers spent more than six times their income, all of which were in London.

Ross Boyd, founder of mortgage platform, Dashly, said: “To have to spend 13 times your earnings simply to get on the first rung of the property ladder is borderline obscene.

“While average UK house price growth has been slowing for some time now, the sheer lack of supply means prices are being propped up and that’s contributing to the continued lack of affordability in certain areas of the country.”

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