Owning your own home is becoming an increasingly distant dream for first-time buyers in UK cities, a new study has revealed.

More than a third (36%) of all properties sold last year were in areas where the average home was unaffordable for first-time buyers.

And average property prices are now the equivalent to more than five times the average income of first-time buyers.

Post Office Money’s ‘Priced Out’ report shows that parts of the UK are becoming almost completely unaffordable for those looking to get on the property ladder.

Cities such as Brighton are becoming unaffordable ‘blackspots’ for those looking to get on the ladder

John Willcock, head of mortgages, Post Office Money
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The report looked at the affordability of properties in 14 UK cities for first-time buyers.

Brighton was found to be the least affordable city of those included in the study, with houses increasing in value by 463% over the past 20 years and now standing at an average of £305,149.

According to the report, only 9% of neighbourhoods in Brighton are within the average first-time buyer’s budget.

The average house price in Brighton is £305,149. Image by Vladislav Gajic/Shutterstock.com
 

Southampton – only 70 miles from Brighton – was the most affordable of the cities looked at by Post Office Money, with properties costing an average of £183,443. 

London had the highest proportion of neighbourhoods that are affordable to first-time buyers but also the highest house prices. The average property in the capital will set you back £498,174. 

John Willcock, head of mortgages at Post Office Money, said: “These figures highlight the challenges facing today’s first-time buyers. 

“Cities such as Brighton are becoming unaffordable ‘blackspots’ for those looking to get on the ladder, with average property prices far beyond the typical budget. 

“The London property market has always been more challenging for new buyers to break into, which is why many instead turned to surrounding areas within a commutable distance – which in turn are becoming increasingly unaffordable.”

The report also revealed the lengths to which first-time buyers are willing to compromise in order to get on the property ladder.

87% of people who bought their first home in the last year admitted they were forced to lower their, compared to 29% who bought more than 20 years ago. 

Almost a quarter (24%) of first-time buyers moved further away from local transport links than they had planned and a fifth (18%) sacrificed living close to good schools. 

Demands on properties themselves are also changing, with gardens falling as a ‘must-have’, from 41% before 1995 to just 13% of those buying in the past year.