Rising sold property prices are a particular cause of concern to anyone who is currently saving for a deposit for a first property and, if you're hoping to make your first step onto the property ladder, you may well be wondering where you can afford to buy. Of course, you may be limited by the location of your job or due to existing family commitments but it's always worth keeping an eye on the wider property market to assess whether any of the areas currently offering better value property offer possible purchasing potential. A recent Post Office survey examined the finer details of 80 different locations to work out which are most affordable for the hopeful first-time buyer.
Blackpool, Lancashire - 100 percent affordable
With an average house price of £112,000 and average first-time buyer income of £39,611, the entire town is classified as affordable. Despite its much-maligned national reputation, Blackpool has housing to suit all tastes and family sizes. The restored Pleasure Beach has boosted the town's image and houses close to South Shore are seen as the most desirable.
Lincoln, Lincolnshire - 100 percent affordable
Average house prices in Lincoln stand at £143,950, while first-time buyers have an average income of £39,834. Together, these figures mean that 100 percent of the city is classified as affordable. It's a city that's rich in history - around 2,000 years of it - and rightly proud of it, too. Almost anywhere else in the country its housing stock would sell for far more but sold property prices remain relatively affordable due, in part, to Lincoln's relatively isolated location.
Hull, East Yorkshire - 100 percent affordable
The average property price in Hull is £110,000. Meanwhile, the average first-time buyer has an annual income of £37,840 with which to make that purchase. 100 percent of the city is classified as affordable. City centre terraces are the main pick for first-time buyers but there's a good mix of semi-detached, the occasional townhouse, larger Edwardian or Victorian detached villas and modern apartments in Humber Quays and the East Bank.
Rotherham, South Yorkshire - 97 percent affordable
Despite its proximity to pricier areas, the average house price is £133,000. First-time buyers have an average annual income of £37,840, which, when combined with the first figure makes Rotherham 97 percent affordable for would-be first-time buyers. Along with Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield, Rotherham is one of South Yorkshire's four big urban areas. However, for many, its great attraction is the Peak District on its doorstep and, for those who fancy being even closer to the countryside, the smaller market towns and several villages that fringe Rotherham offer a further choice of housing.
Sandwell, West Midlands - 95 percent affordable
95 percent of Sandwell is classified as affordable to first-time buyers, thanks to average house prices of £137,950 and an average first-time buyer income of £41,024. Its proximity to Birmingham and its wide variety of housing types mean that it isn't short of interest from house buyers.
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire - 94 percent affordable
Average house prices in Stoke-on-Trent currently stand at £110,000, while the average first-time buyer has an annual income of £41,024 with which to finance the purchase of a property. 94 percent of the town is classified as affordable to this demographic. Best known for its pottery, Stoke-on-Trent is also very connected to both road and rail networks: Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, London and even Oxford are all easily reachable. The town itself is actually a conglomeration of six towns but, together, they offer an excellent and varied choice of housing.
Southampton, Hampshire - 94 percent affordable
Although Hampshire is known as the home of some of the UK's most expensive private housing, average house prices in Southampton stand at £210,000. First-time buyers in the city have an average annual income of £56,429 and 94 percent of the city is classified as affordable. As well as being an important local centre of employment, Southampton's fast mainline links to London draws priced-out buyers from the capital. There's a wide choice of housing stock, from small terraces to large detached villas on leafy roads, as well as the waterfront apartments that are almost an expected part of any waterside town or city nowadays.
Tameside, Greater Manchester
Tameside in Greater Manchester has average house prices of £137,500 and the average first-time buyer has an annual income of £39,611. 93 percent of the town is classed as affordable. The Metrolink extension put Tameside within very easy reach of central Manchester. This, when combined with its glorious countryside setting, makes it very attractive to home hunters.
Barnsley, South Yorkshire - 93 percent affordable
Average houses prices in Barnsley are £124,995 and the average first-time purchaser earns £37,840 per annum. 93 percent of Barnsley is classified as affordable. One of four large urban centres in South Yorkshire, Barnsley's heritage is undeniably industrial but its position on the very edge of the Peak District makes it ideal for lovers of the great outdoors. It's also within easy reach of a number of other metropolitan areas, including Sheffield, for work. As well as the terraced houses you might expect of such a town, there is also a good and growing selection of new-builds.
Wigan, Greater Manchester - 93 percent affordable
In Wigan, residential property currently costs an average of £130,250, while first-time buyers earn an average of £39,611 per year. 93 percent of the town's housing stock is classified as affordable. Once an industrial centre of coal-mining and mill factories, Wigan has enjoyed significant regeneration over the past few years. Only 16 miles outside Manchester, it is perfectly positioned for anyone who works in that city, as well as being within easy reach of Liverpool. As with many similar towns and cities, the centre of Wigan is home to streets of terraced housing, which make ideal purchases for many first-time buyers. There's also a good selection of purpose-built one-bedroom flats in Cross Yard, which is an area that has easy access to large green spaces.
With the exception of Southampton, the above list strongly suggests that anyone looking for the most affordable spots to purchase property in England might want to focus their search in the Midlands or further north.
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