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Struggling first time buyers told to head North

Struggling first time buyers told to head North

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 26/09/2011
First Published: 26/09/2011

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First time buyers trying to get on the housing ladder stand the best chance of success in the North, according to a new report.

While the average age of a first time buyer in the UK is 29, there can be almost a decade's difference between some areas of the country, research from Halifax has revealed.

The youngest first time buyers are in Selby in North Yorkshire, where the average age is 25, nine years younger than one of the areas with the oldest first time buyers, 34, Harrow in London.

Other areas where the average age of a first time buyer is significantly below the national average are Redcar and Cleveland in the North East, Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria , Bolsover in Derbyshire and South Ribble in Lancashire.

The average age in each of these areas is only 26.

At a regional level, the youngest first time buyers are in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, Wales and Scotland , all with an average age of 28; the oldest are in London (32) and the South East (31).

The research found that average house prices tend to be relatively low in areas with the youngest first time buyers.

Typically, the areas with the youngest first time buyers are also those where housing affordability conditions are the most favourable.

"There are several areas in the country where the average age of first time buyers is three to four years below the national average of 29," said Nitesh Patel, housing economist at Halifax.

"Most of these areas are in northern England where house prices are typically lower both in absolute terms and in relation to earnings, helping to limit the size of the deposit needed.

"In contrast, in London and many areas of the South East the time needed to save up for a deposit can be lengthy, resulting in first time buyers who are typically several years older than in the rest of the country."

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