Top 10 up-and-coming locations for first-time buyers revealed

Top 10 up-and-coming areas for first-time buyers, according to Halifax – with Hull, Ipswich and Middlesbrough making the cut

  • Kingston-upon-Hull and Middlesbrough top two up-and-coming hubs
  • First-time buyers typically pay £156k for a home in these areas 
  • Halifax says more first-time buyers are willing to buy further afield  

Kingston-upon-Hull, Middlesbrough and Neath Port Talbot are among the top 10 best up-and-coming locations for first-time buyers, new research claims. 

First-time buyers looking to snap up a home in these locations can expect to pay close to £156,000 – some £132,000 less than the typical £288,030 price tag paid by those getting on the first rung of the housing ladder across Britain.

While property prices have fallen in recent months, high prices in many hotspot locations mean three in five first-time buyers are prepared to move to a different part of the country in order to be able to buy a property, Halifax said. 

Around 40 per cent of prospective first-time buyers aged between 18 and 34 are looking to buy in up-and-coming hubs, with many forced to look at places further away from family, friends or work, the lender says.

Good spot? Kingston-upon-Hull has been named by Halifax as one of the best places for first-time buyers

Have a look: Halifax unveils its top 10 list of up-and-coming locations for first-time buyers 

Average first-time buyer property prices have surged from £148,474 to £288,030 in a decade, the findings added. 

The average deposit put down by first-time buyers is £54,156. 

In Kingston-upon-Hull, the 2017 capital of culture, average prices for first-time buyers come in at £156,509, which is 23 per cent lower than seen elsewhere in the region. 

In its 2023 first-time buyer report, Halifax said Kingston-upon-Hull had seen £1.5billion worth of investment injected into regeneration projects in the last decade. 

It added: ‘There are ambitions to transform its ports into world-class tourist destinations and it offers first-time buyers some of the most affordable housing anywhere in the UK.’

In Middlesbrough, Neath Port Talbot and Derry City and Strabane, first-time buyers can expect to fork out £156,761, £158,702 and £160,636 respectively for a home.

Giving an insight into Middlesbrough, Halifax, said: ‘Located within the proposed Tees Valley Investment Zone, Middleborough looks set to benefit from a UK-wide scheme to accelerate growth, announced by the Government in September 2022.’

Hubs: Have a look at the top 10 up-and-coming hubs for first-time buyers

Falkirk in Scotland comes in at number four of the top 10 up-and-coming locations, with average first-time buyer coming in at £165,511, which is 12 per cent lower than average prices seen elsewhere in the region.

Ipswich and Eastbourne also feature in the top 10, with average first-time buyer prices in the latter coming in at £253,744, which is 29 per cent lower than the rest of the South East. 

The disparity in average first-time buyer property prices up and down the UK remains vast, varying from around £112,112 in Inverclyde to a whopping £682,981 in Westminster, London, according to Halifax. 

What do you want? Priorities for prospective first-time buyers in the UK

What are first-time buyers looking for?

Over half of first-time buyers told Halifax that the price of a property was one of their top priorities when searching for a home. 

Being close to family and friends and taking note of local crime rates in the area also featured high up in the list of considerations, as did whether or not an area has a strong community feel and decent transport links are available. 

Potential places to work, green spaces and proximity to a city also made it into the top 10 things being considered by first-time buyers. 

With prices high in many locations, around 60 per cent of first-time buyers are willing to look further afield, and potentially away from friends and family, in order to get on the property ladder. 

And two in five prospective first-time buyers surveyed by Halifax said the property’s location was more important than the property itself. 

Nearly half said they were willing to buy a smaller home than they originally anticipated.  

Kim Kinnaird, mortgages director at Halifax, said: ‘Despite fluctuating house prices, the desire to buy a first home isn’t going away, with almost nine in ten young people keen to get on the property ladder. 

Ms Kinnaird said there was ‘an appetite’ among first-time buyers to consider more affordable locations in up-and-coming areas. 

She added: ‘These are based on relatively low average house prices, alongside other positives such as access to green space, easy commutes and safe neighbourhoods.’

Are mortgage rates affecting first-time buyers?

Halifax said many first-time buyers still face major challenges getting on the property ladder, including higher mortgage rates.

It said 41 per cent of prospective first-time buyers were pushing back their plans to purchase a home by four years, with the cost of borrowing and the scale of repayments factors considered by many. 

Fifty-five per cent said they would reconsider the type of property they were looking to buy, given cost considerations.  

The findings also revealed that 71 per cent of first-time buyers were prioritising other purchases over a house. 

Thirty-one per cent said they were prioritising travel over getting a home, while 30 per cent said they were focused on buying a car instead. 

Meanwhile, 30 per cent of first-time buyers surveyed said they didn’t understand the home buying process. 

On the mortgage front, the average five-year fixed rate in the UK is currently 5.96 per cent, according to Moneyfacts. This means someone with a £200,000 mortgage and a 25-year term would end up paying £1,284 a month.

While mortgage rates remain considerably higher than a few years ago, they are slowly easing. 

On Tuesday, Nationwide Building Society said it was reducing rates across the majority of its fixed mortgages by up to 0.45 percentage points.

First-time buyers that are able to purchase with at least a 40 per cent deposit will also be able to secure a rate of 4.74 per cent with Nationwide, if fixing for five years.

What can you get as a first-time buyer?

Here are three homes for sale via Zoopla in locations flagged in Halifax’s latest findings.

The first is on sale via William H Brown and is located in Charlestown Way, Victoria Dock, Hull, for offers over £150,000. It has two bedrooms, off road parking and a garden at the back.  

Could be yours: This terraced home in Charlestown Way, Victoria Dock, Hull, is on sale for offers over £150,000

Light: The light and bright living room in the home on sale in Charlestown Way, Victoria Dock

Sleeping quarters: One of the bedrooms in the terraced property for sale in Hull

The second home on offer is located in Middlesbrough. 

It is a three-bedroom semi-detached house and on sale via Manners & Harrison Marton for £155,000. It has a driveway, garage and front and rear gardens.

Up for sale: This three-bedroom semi-detached home in Middlesbrough is on sale for £155,000

Inside: The ground floor offers a fitted modern kitchen which flows through to the downstairs WC and lounge area

Outdoor space: The semi-detached home in Middlesbrough has a back garden

The third home up for sale is located in Neath Port Talbot. 

It has two bedrooms and one bathroom and is on sale for offers in the region of £150,000.

Great opportunity: This two-bedroom terraced home in Neath Port Talbot on sale via John Francis could be yours for offers in the region of £150,000

Relaxing: One of the two bedroom in the Neath Port Talbot property 

Ready to live in: The kitchen in the Neath Port Talbot property is ready to use 

Green space: The Neath Port Talbot property has an enclosed rear garden

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