Analysis by Reallymoving found that first-time buyers with a £25,000 deposit and a £40,000 salary would be able to afford 37 per cent of homes in Swindon. Colchester and Luton came next with those looking to buy their first home able to snap up 30 per cent and 19 per cent of homes respectively.
With the recent stretch of income multiples offered by lenders such as Nationwide, Santander and Loughborough Building Society allowing house hunters to borrow up to 5.5 times their earnings, the amount of homes within reach of first-time buyers jumps up to 50 per cent in Swindon, 43 per cent for Colchester and 36 per cent for Luton.
In London, first-time buyers could afford just five per cent of homes, and 8.5 per cent with an income multiple stretch.
Oxford, Watford and Cambridge were the three least affordable out of the 15 most popular locations for London house hunters with six per cent, 6.5 per cent and seven per cent of their housing stock affordable to first-time buyers.
London’s high house prices has squeezed out families trying to get on the property ladder. The volume of first-time buyers in the market has increased across the country, but in London this share has fallen from a peak of 21 per cent in February 2020 to 17 per cent.
Rob Houghton, founder and CEO of Reallymoving, said: “No longer tied to living in the capital or crippled by daily commuting costs, first-time buyers might be surprised to find that they can access a sizable proportion of the market in several popular locations within an hour of the capital – and are more likely to be able to afford a garden and larger living space.
“Anyone taking out a large mortgage should consider the risks carefully, but for many young professionals with good prospects – and with lender affordability checks being applied diligently – larger loans make sense and are particularly helpful to those buying on their own.”