People buying first homes now handing over £46,187 each up front

The average first-time buyer parted with £46,187 as a deposit to get on the property ladder in 2019, new figures show.

That's up £3,032 on the year before and £7,827 more than people were shelling out ten years ago, according to research from Halifax.

Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “Whilst price growth in the overall housing market has been modest in recent years, the level of inflation facing first-time buyers is greater, which compounds the challenge in raising bigger deposits."

First-time buyers were paying 9% more for their homes last year than the year before, more than twice the speed of average house price growth, Halifax said.

And it comes after a decade where just 10 areas across the UK have become more affordable for first-time buyers.

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Worryingly, one of those was Kensington and Chelsea, where houses now cost 6.2 times average local earnings – down from 10.9 times – but remain far out of reach for all but the best-off buyers at £693,905 in 2019.

More attainable homes could be found int Eden in the North West – which has seen the second-biggest increase in affordability, seeing prices now 5.3 times local earnings (down from 7.3 times in 2009).

Middlesbrough, Newry, Mourne and Down, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Ceredigion, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Burnley are the only other areas in the entirety of the UK see homes for first-time buyers become easier to afford.

In terms of underlying house price rises, average price paid by a first-time buyer in the UK last year was £231,455, up by £18,252 in the past year and £92,822 in the past decade.

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But despite the huge rise, the number of people getting on the ladder has remained remarkably resiliant, rising slightly over the past year and significantly over the past 10.

“This is in part explained by initiatives designed specifically to support this key group, including Help to Buy schemes and family support mortgages, and they also benefit from the continued period of record low interest rates," Galley said.

"However, it’s clear that more needs to be done to address more fundamental long-term issues, not least the shortage of new, affordable homes being built.”

What first-time buyers are paying by region:

  • North – £136,104 up £9,917 on last year
  • Yorkshire and Humberside – £156,232 up £13,132 on last year
  • North West – £163,459 up £13,475 on last year
  • East Midlands – £181,876 up £13,307 on last year
  • West Midlands – £185,091 up £9,083 on last year
  • East Anglia – £220,719 up £4,528 on last year
  • Wales – £153,267 up £10,526 on last year
  • South West – £221,357 up £10,240 on last year
  • South East – £295,348 up £14,518 on last year
  • Greater London – £453,385 up £27,764 on last year
  • Northern Ireland – £136,850 up £9,250 on last year
  • Scotland – £152,728 up £10,771 on last year

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