Affordability looking promising for first-time property buyers

The number of UK towns and cities considered affordable for first-time property buyers has risen to its highest level for a decade. The latest Halifax First-Time Buyer (FTB) Review reveals that the average price paid by FTBs was affordable for someone on average earnings in 54 per cent of local authority districts (LADs).

This represents a 12 per cent rise in the last year, and an eight-fold increase on the level of affordability at the peak of the housing market in 2007. Back then, just seven per cent of LADs were affordable.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, says the data is very encouraging, considering the vital role FTBs play in the housing market. However, he does concede that lending restrictions remain a problem. “The continued uncertainty over the outlook for the UK economy and the difficulties faced by many in raising the necessary deposit remain significant hurdles for those wishing to buy their first home,” he explained.