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Leeds named one of the most affordable cities for first-time buyers

Posted 16/08/2017

  • More than 25% of 25-34 year olds living in London will buy their first home outside of the capital, citing the city’s cost of living as the main reason
  • An additional 6% of Londoners said they would move for a better quality of life
  • Leeds named in the top 10 most affordable city for first-time buyers, average house price £147,075.
  • Leeds has more affordable housing, a lower cost of living, and cheaper pints

Move to Leeds and spend £350,000 less on buying your home when compared to London prices, according to data collected by Online Mortgage Advisor.

Online Mortgage Advisor has created a city comparison tool called “Is The Grass Greener?”, which uses government data, national statistics and Zoopla listings to help users find the cost and quality of living in UK cities or London boroughs.

Leeds’s first-time buyers were revealed to be £320,000 better off than those in Lambeth - a London borough with a demographic predominantly in its 30s - as well as making a 80p saving per pint.

According to recent data from Post Office Money, 65% of Leeds’s property is an ‘affordable price’ compared to London’s 30%.

As well as affordable housing, Leeds scored a lower cost of living at 70.88 against Lambeth’s 83.08.

Online Mortgage Advisor has also conducted a survey into the sentiment of the capital’s young residents, and found that one in three Londoners (41%) will buy their first home outside of the Big Smoke.

The cost of living was the main reason cited by 27% of respondents, who believe that it would be too expensive to purchase their first property in the city.

Discounting the 42% of residents who answered “I haven’t thought about this yet” the results were even stronger -  a total of 74% said they will buy their first home outside of London for one of the above reasons.

However, one in ten people surveyed said their love for the city would keep them there, and 4% cited “other reasons” as the main factor for staying in the capital.

David Bird, a director at Online Mortgage Advisor, who commissioned the survey, said:

The stats from this survey evidence the sentiment that we’ve recognised in our own customers over the past couple of years. The number of first-time buyers coming to us with enquiries about mortgages on properties outside the capital is on the rise, and we expect to see this continue as more and more people consider themselves to be priced out of London and start looking to buy in regional UK cities, such as Leeds.

In light of these results, we’ve created a tool called “Is The Grass Greener?”, which compares every single UK city as well as London boroughs, to help first-time buyers discover where they can get the most for their money and a quality of life that suits them. We’ve analysed both government data and national statistics on a number of factors including house price, crime rate, schooling standards and even the price of a pint!

Mark Homer, co-founder of property education company Progressive Property, added:

Many younger Londoners want to live outside the capital as house prices become more detached from incomes meaning that monthly payments and the deposit required to obtain a mortgage makes living in the capital unaffordable. This, coupled with the fact that many areas around London are still playing catch up with property prices which have not risen as much since the credit crunch in areas around London as they have within, making these areas more affordable.

Train services are also becoming quicker with the East Coast main line, Crossrail and HS2 reducing journey times to the city, making commuting a viable option even from locations which were previously discounted as commuter locations. As the population of London grows this trend is likely to continue meaning areas surrounding London are likely to experience higher than average house price growth.

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