The most popular places for first-time buyers are revealed

Where first-time buyers are looking for homes revealed: Most popular places to search include London, Luton, Reading and Wolverhampton

  • The research by Zoopla looked at where first-time buyers want to buy a home
  • Buyers searched for areas with attractive affordability and good transport
  • The data did not reveal where first-time buyers ended up buying 

The most popular areas among first-time buyers looking for homes have been revealed – and cheaper locations close to cities dominate.

The list of top 10 places where prospective first-time buyers are searching for homes was identified by property website Zoopla, with Barking and Dagenham in East London leading the way.

It is followed by two more locations in the capital – Tower Hamlets and Newham, with Reading ranked fourth and Wolverhampton fifth.

Looking across the country to find the most popular locations in each region, Zoopla said they all shared a common characteristic of being ‘within reach of the UK’s biggest cities but still relatively affordable’.

The most popular areas among first-time buyers have been named by Zoopla

The top ten locations were dominated by London boroughs and all of these were areas that people could buy relatively less expensive homes and commute to the capital’s employment centres from.

Other locations in the top 10 list included Luton and Crawley.

Zoopla’s Richard Donnell said: ‘Our research shows that the attractive relative affordability and good transport links of Barking and Dagenham is driving interest with those buying their first home.

‘When you compare the average price that first-time buyers are searching for in that borough with the average for London overall, it is not hard to see the attraction for those who are buying their first home there.’  

Barking and Dagenham in East London is the most popular place for first-time buyers

Zoopla said its research was based on the highest percentages of enquiries for an area, where a prospective buyer identifies themselves as a first-time buyer and then clicks on its website for more information from an agent on a particular property.

As such, the research indicates where first-time buyers are looking to purchase their first home, and not where they end up.

The research was carried out during a three-month period from the middle of October to the middle of January.

The reality of buying in the identified locations was also laid bare by the research, as it reveals the incomes and deposits that first-time buyers will need to live out their property dreams.

For example, in the most popular area for first-time buyers, the average income needed to buy a three-bedroom house – the most popular type of property among first-time buyers in Barking and Dagenham – is £56,667.

This is based on applying for a mortgage with a deposit of 15 per cent and a loan that is 4.5 times salary.

While it is double the average salary, it becomes a more attractive scenario if the purchase is being made by a couple where two salaries can be taken into account on the mortgage application.

Zoopla’s calculation also takes into account the deposit required, with first-time buyers needing £45,000 for a typical three-bed house in Barking and Dagenham, where the average price is £300,000.

Wolverhampton is among the most popular places for first-time buyers

The cheapest average price in the top 10 list can be found in the city of Wolverhampton at £145,000.

In this location, first-time buyers are looking at three-bed semi-detached houses more than any other type of property, for which they will require an income of £27,389 and a deposit of £21,750.

Bristol is the most popular place for first-time buyers int he South West of England

Zoopla also revealed the list of most popular areas within each county.

These included the city of Leicester in the East Midlands, Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England, Midlothian in Scotland, Newport in Wales, and Bristol in South West England.

Mr Donnell said: ‘Our first-time buyers are the largest buyer group in the housing market, accounting for close to two in every five sales.

‘Low mortgage rates and increased availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages have supported the growth in first-time buyer numbers in the last five years.’

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