New survey reveals London challenge for first-time buyers

by Gary Whittaker

The challenge faced by first-time buyers in London as they try to get on the housing ladder is twice as large as it is in the rest of the country, a new survey has indicated. 

Research by Lloyds Bank has revealed that despite a recent slowdown in price inflation across the capital, the average amount paid by a first-time buyer in London has increased by nearly two thirds over the past five years to £420,132.

This figure is almost twice as high as the £210,515 paid by first-time buyers in the rest of the UK. 

Finding the money for a deposit is a key part of the problem, with the average amount London buyers have to find now standing at £92,833, up 62 per cent from 2013. 

The cost of homes in central London, particularly more fashionable districts, has forced many to live further out from the centre.

However, even the idea of living more cheaply in the suburban parts of the metropolis has been diminished by soaring prices, with the cost for all buyers in outer London up by 47 per cent in the last five years. 

Such factors would suggest those who rent in London are more likely to have to continue doing so for longer on average, whether they wish to or not. Some may find they can never get on the housing ladder in the capital and will either rent perpetually or move elsewhere. 

Indeed, the average first-time buyer in London is 34, three years older than the national average. At 30, Tower Hamlets is the only London borough to buck this trend. In contrast, the typical buyer in Barnet, Harrow and Sutton is 39. 

London's situation may be made harder still for first-time buyers by a relative lack of new home construction. 

According to figures produced by the National Home Building Council last month, the tally of new build home registrations in the capital amounted to only 15,000 in 2017-18. This was 23 per cent down on the previous 12-month period and contrasted with a national increase of two per cent.

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23-May-18General Lettings News