This thriving metropolis of a West Midlands city has undergone major regeneration in the past few years. But has it priced out those hoping to step onto the property ladder?

Taking your first step on the property ladder in Birmingham? Here at Zoopla, we have data that you might find useful.

It looks at average house prices across the UK by post code and then estimates how much a first-timer would need to earn and have as a deposit to buy there.

We've summarised this information in to the map below. It shows what income you would need to buy a two- to three-bedroom property in various post code areas – in short the greener, the better.

Most affordable areas for first-time buyers in Birmingham

Affordability heat map of Birmingham

(Click on map for larger version)

Quick pointers for first-time buyers:

  • The average first-time buyer property (two-to-three bedroom house) in Birmingham costs £179,216, with the average deposit required £26,882.

  • Average household income required for first-time buyers is £38,097.

  • Most affordable area of Birmingham is Rough Fields and Priestfield (WV2) with an average house price of £101,617. A deposit of £15,243 and income of £21,594 is required. However, as the post code suggests, it is closer to the city centre of Wolverhampton than Birmingham.

  • For first-time buyer bargains closer to Birmingham city centre itself, Lozells, Newtown and Birchfield (B19 that is home to track and field's Alexander Stadium  ranks favourably, with the average house price at £111,711.

  • Solihull and Sutton Coldfield represent the most expensive options for first-time buyers. Hockley Heath and Earlswood (B94, Solihull) have an average price of £397,206 and Four Oaks and Little Ashton (B74, Sutton Coldfield) an average of £282,058.

Top 10 most affordable postcode areas in Birmingham 

Postcode Area Average house price Average deposit required Average household income required
WV2 All Saints, Wolverhampton £101,617 £15,243 £21,594
B19 Birchfield £111,711 £16,757 £23,738
WS2 Pleck, Walsall £113,297 £16,994 £24,076
B6 Aston £114,364 £17,155 £24,302
WV1 City centre, Wolverhampton £114,565 £17,185 £24,345
DY2 Town centre, Dudley £117,328 £17,599 £24,932
WV13 Willenhall £119,398 £17,910 £25,372
WS3 Bloxwich, Walsall £119,488 £17,923 £25,391
B7 Nechells £119,958 £17,994 £25,491
B21 Handsworth £119,968 £17,995 £25,493


How have we calculated it?

We've looked at the average price of two-to-three bedroom homes  the most common type of property purchase for first-time buyers in Birmingham.

We've then taken the average mortgage advance from lenders in the region and worked out the average deposit and salary required for the loan (based on four times' salary).

How can I afford a home as a first-time buyer?

Building as big a deposit as possible is the first step. This allows you to borrow a lower percentage of the value of the property and access better mortgage rates.

Aim for a minimum 10% deposit. It is possible to put down less in some cases, but this means less favourable mortgage rate and higher monthly repayments.

If you are struggling to raise a deposit, check out Help to Buy where the Government will lend you up to 20% of the purchase price interest-free for the first five years.

Provided your credit score is in good order and your monthly outgoings do not limit your ability to repay a mortgage, banks and building societies will lend up to around four times your salary.

If you are buying as a couple, then combining your incomes will mean you can borrow more. 

Don’t forget that, when buying a home, there will be other fees such as solicitor and moving costs. The good news is that stamp duty land tax is waived for first-time buyers on the first £300,000 of the purchase.

For more help purchasing your first home, read our first-time buyers guides.

First-time buyer affordability in the West Midlands

In certain areas of the UK, especially London and the South East, it's almost impossible to find post code areas where average salaries are high enough to get the mortgage you would need to buy a local home.

The good news with Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region is that, in many cases, four times average earnings will be enough for first-time buyers to take an initial step onto the property ladder. 

Birchfield, close to Birmingham city centre falls into this category, as does B37 that takes in Chelmsley Wood and Marston Green to the east of the city.

If you are looking further afield, north and east of Birmingham provides the most affordable options. First-time buyers can find property in Stoke-on-Trent's ST1 postcode area for an average of £85,386, which demands an average first-time buyer's household income of £18,145.

Burton-upon-Trent, Tamworth and Nuneaton are all viable alternatives to the east, and Bromsgrove to the south west could also be a more affordable choice within commuting distance of Birmingham.

(Click on image for larger map)

First-time buyer affordability in the UK 

If you're prepared to cast your search further afield still, then our first-time buyer affordability map of the UK will help. 

There are more affordable alternatives to the West Midlands if you venture either northwards or into Wales beyond Cardiff.  

But remember that while the UK map might prove a helpful overview, in practice, UK property markets operate on a hyper-local level.

This means that researching cities down to even a street-by-street level will give you the best chance of getting the best value property. 

Full methodology: House prices taken from a subset of Zoopla-partner Hometrack's stock valuation database (one-to-two beds for London and two-to-three bedrooms for rest of UK). Median price calculated as of June 2018. Median advance taken by region (c75% for London, c85% outside of London) from UK Finance. Term of Mortgage: 25 years. Interest rate: 2.00%. Loan to income ratio: 4.0. Earnings required for affordability is greater of those required to satisfy loan-to-income threshold or income required to service the mortgage.

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