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The most popular areas for first-time buyers revealed

Our research shows the locations, property prices and property types most appealing to first-time buyers - plus the deposits you need to save.

Words by: Property News Team

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is Great Britain’s most popular location for first-time buyers, according to our latest analysis.

Leicester is the most popular first-time buyer area in the East Midlands, Bristol is the top location in the South West and Midlothian is the most attractive option for first-time buyers in Scotland.

Our new research also reveals the sharp contrasts in prices and property size expectations for first-time buyers in different regions of Great Britain.

You can see the top 10 hotspots nationwide, in London and for each regional area in Great Britain using our interactive map below: 

In Oldham, the most popular hotspot in North West England, the property type most searched for by first-time buyers are two-bed terraced houses priced at £120,000, requiring £18,000 for a 15% deposit and an income of £22,667.

Discover more about living in Oldham

Over in Bradford, the number one city for first-time buyers in Yorkshire and the Humber, £110,000 will get you a three-bed semi. You'll need a deposit of £16,500 and an annual income of £20,778.

In the London area of Islington - tenth on the list in the capital - first-time buyers eager to get on the property ladder need £500,000 to afford a two-bed flat. They'd have to save a deposit of £75,000 and show a salary of £95,444.

First-time buyer moving in

In the most popular area of Barking and Dagenham the property type most searched for by first-time buyers is a three-bed terraced house valued at £300,000. You’d need a deposit of £45,000 and an income of £56,667 to buy.

In second place is the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, where first-time buyers need to earn £80,278 and have a deposit of £63,750 for a home valued at £425,000.

Also in London and in third place is the Borough of Newham where first-time buyers are looking for two-bed flats priced at £340,000, which would set them back £51,000 for a 15% deposit.

Outside London and number four of our hot spot locations is Readingin Berkshirewhere first-time buyers were most interested in two-bed flats with an average asking price of £240,000. They’d need a deposit of £36,000 and an annual salary of £45,333 to buy.

Wolverhampton is the only popular first-time buyer location in our top 10 Great Britain hotspots that’s not in London or the South East. The West Midlands city comes in at fifth place but here three-bed semis valued at around £145,000 are most popular with first-time buyers. For this buying price, you’d need a 15% deposit of £21,750 and an annual income of £27,389.

"Best value for money"

Richard Donnell, Zoopla's research and insights director, said: "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 over the last five years.

"Much of the growth in first-time buyer numbers has been recorded in regional housing markets where the cost of buying remains attractive.

"Our analysis shows that first time buyers are seeking out the most affordable areas which deliver the best value for money in terms of accessibility and property type and size. In the highest-priced markets, first-time buyers are seeking two-bed homes but across large parts of the country first-time buyers are seeking out three-bed homes.” 

“As with all buyers, we always recommend thoroughly researching what you need from a home, along with affordability. This is why we have also introduced the Zooploma; a series of guides and information designed to help first-time buyers navigate the complexities of getting on the property ladder in 2020.

"We know what it’s worth for first-time buyers to get a foot on the ladder, and more than 176,000 people have enrolled for ourZooploma emails, our step-by-step guide to buying, since Boxing Day."

Top 3 takeaways

  • The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is Britain’s most popular area for first-time buyers

  • Oldham is the most affordable and popular area in Britain for first-time buyers

  • We've launched our Buying a home guide, featuring everything you need to know about stepping onto the property ladder

How we crunched the numbers

We analysed first-time buyer data from the past three months and ranked locations with the highest percentage of estate agency leads submitted from first-time buyers. We also looked at the average property price searched for in each location by first-time buyers in each area, the most popular property type bought by first-time buyers, as well as the deposit and salary needed to buy.

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.