1st-time buyers willing to compromise on location can achieve dream of home ownership

The news that first-time buyers are paying twice what the rest of the UK is to own a home in London will come as no surprise to anyone house-hunting in the capital.

The Lloyds Bank research shows that in the last five years, deposits for FTBs in London have more than doubled while the cost of an average home has also risen from £255,794 to £420,132. FTBs elsewhere in the UK will pay an average £210,515 for their first home.

While buying in London is a necessity or a dream for many FTBs, depending on their background and work life, for most FTBs, buying in the capital will never be a reality.

Research last year from Post Office Money showed that many FTBs are willing to look much further afield to achieve their dream of home ownership.

More than 1,000 people who want to buy for the first time were quizzed about how they could make home ownership a reality with many suggesting they would be more than willing to compromise on location to get the keys to their own home.

In fact, 70 percent of those who took part in the study said they would buy a home on average 26 minutes away from their “preferred” location. Others were happy to shift downwards their expectations of having a garden, for example, or their own parking spot.

Owen Woodley, managing director of Post Office Money, said the housing market was a challenging environment for many potential homeowners. However, he said that despite this challenge, FTBs remained keen to get on the property ladder.

He said: “We’re seeing that first-time buyers approach the market with enthusiasm and flexibility. Our data also shows that almost two-thirds (62 percent) of home sales are still in areas across the country that remain within reach for those looking to take their first steps on the property ladder.

“FTBs can really benefit from thinking outside the box to realise their property aspirations.”

The most affordable place for the FTBs who participated in the Post Office Money study was Southampton, followed by Norwich and Nottingham. The least affordable was Brighton with London and Brighton just behind.

It’s clear that London is certainly not the be-all-and-end-all for FTBs with cities and regions within commuting distance of the capital offering an affordable alternative for those willing to compromise on location.