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First homes remain out of reach for singles with average earnings

  • 21/05/2002
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Buying a first property is beyond the reach of single individuals on average earnings in over a thir...

Buying a first property is beyond the reach of single individuals on average earnings in over a third of 451 towns surveyed across the UK, according to new research from Halifax. The results show a clear North/South divide, with prices out of reach in four out of five southern towns, and one in 10 outside the South.

The largest gap between local earnings and income needed to buy a property was found in Sevenoaks in Kent. A first-time buyer needs to earn £63,304 to purchase the average first-time buyer property at £216,566.

The cheapest is Leven in Scotland where a first-time buyer only needs to earn £9,933 to buy the average first-time buyer property at £33,982.

There are five towns in the UK where buyers would need to spend more than an average of £200,000 to buy a property. The most expensive surveyed towns were Twickenham, followed by Richmond in Surrey, Windsor, Sevenoaks and Kingston-upon-Thames.

This situation has left 25% of people in their early twenties worried that they will not be able to afford their own home.

A new survey, conducted by Birmingham Midshires, says getting on the property ladder is one of the biggest concerns about life in 10 years’ time.

Around 6% of young people are more worried about being able to buy a house than about their health. Almost one-fifth ‘ 19% ‘ worry more about this than providing for their family, according to the results. The biggest worry for people in their twenties was being out of work at 34%.

The average age of first-time buyers is now 34-years old and rising.

Tim Hague, head of savings and investment marketing at Birmingham Midshires, said: ‘With the house prices seen recently, young people are expressing serious concerns about getting onto the property ladder. With the average age of first-time buyers increasing, the figures indicate the age may rise higher still in certain areas. As salaries have not kept pace with house price inflation, the current house price trend might also cause huge concerns for public sector workers.’

He added: ‘With house prices rising and with savings rates so low it is going to take even longer for people to save large deposits.’


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