The data from the property search website showed that in London, where prices are highest, one- and two-bedroom homes were most searched-for by first-time buyers, followed by Scotland, where smaller apartments are more plentiful than in other parts of the UK.
The figures reflected property searches on Zoopla’s website in 2018 by about 2.6 million would-be purchasers who identified as first-time buyers.
The search data showed that first-time buyers’ expectations on size of property varied according to affordability in their region and revealed the hotspots for different sizes of property in this market segment. (See chart below)
“In more affordable markets expectations are higher on the size of property, while in London it’s about smaller, more affordable homes,” said Richard Donnell, director of research and insight at Zoopla.
“However, in London the average price remains more than £500,000 and therefore it’s no surprise that average loans to value (LTVs) are 75 per cent for first-time buyers in London.
“In Scotland, the stock of housing has a higher proportion of apartments compared to the rest of the UK and there is more demand for smaller homes despite lower values,” he added.
The weighted average price of properties searched for by first-time buyers in London was £528,151, followed by South East England at £343,500 and East of England at £318,958. The national weighted average price, £296,553, placed fourth in the price rankings above the nine other regions.
First-time buyers in London were most likely to search for one-bedroom properties, with 21 per cent looking in this range, followed by Scotland at 13 per cent.
Three-bedroom properties were most searched-for in the mid-priced regions of West Midlands, Wales, East Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, and North West England.
Northern Ireland and North East England — which, with Scotland, were the top three most affordable regions — topped the list for searches for four-bedroom homes.