Leading hybrid estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, has released its latest analysis of the property market in England, highlighting where offers the best bet for first-time buyers (FTB) looking to get a foot on the ladder and where they should avoid.

By analysing the latest data from the Land Registry, eMoov have mapped the average first-time buyer house price across each English county and each of the capital’s boroughs, as well as calculating the increase in value since the start of 2012.

The research shows that first-time buyers are now paying out, on average, just over £196,000 to secure that vital first property. However, in the last four years or so, the average price paid across England by first-time buyers has increased by £42,451.

This 28% increase is a higher rate of growth than England as a whole, where the average house price has only increased by 26% in the same time period, highlighting the ever-growing obstacle many face in securing homeownership.

But there’s even worse news for those aspiring to get on the London ladder for the first time.

The capital’s ever inflating market means that the current price paid on average by first-time buyers in London is an eye-watering £462,602, having increased by £54% since 2012.

But where offers the best bet for those looking to buy, where should they avoid and where in the country has seen the biggest increase for those that bought in 2012 and might be looking to sell now?

England

At just £86,116, County Durham offers the best value for those looking to get on the property ladder. Durham has struggled in recent times where the property market is concerned, with low demand seeing prices drop, although this has at least benefited first-time buyers in the area. This said the poor performance is notable, with prices having increased by just 3% (£2,600) since 2012, the lowest across England and a far cry from the average across England (28%).

Of course, the City of London and Greater London both account for the most expensive counties for first-time buyers in England. But it’s London’s commuter zone counties where first-time buyer prices are the highest outside of London. Surrey (£323,973), Hertfordshire (£305,043), Berkshire (£292,227), Oxfordshire (£286,962) and Buckinghamshire (£286,511) account for the top five most expensive counties for first-time buyers, with each having seen the average FTB price rocket by between £80,000-£96,000 since 2012, the biggest increases outside of the M25.

London

Living in London comes at a cost and even the top five most affordable boroughs where the average FTB house price is concerned, command well above the UK average house price.

At £254,600, Barking and Dagenham is the best bet for London’s first-time buyers. Havering is the second most affordable (£281,836), with Bexley (£285,464), Croydon (£301,001) and Sutton (£312,978) completing the top five most affordable London boroughs. In 2012, the average FTB price for each came in below £200,000, but since then first time buyers in each of these five boroughs have enjoyed an increase of between £95,000 and £118,000.

Kensington and Chelsea (£1.1m) is predictably the most expensive spot in the capital for first-time buyers. Westminster (£906,882), City of London (£711,009), Camden (£669,020), along with Hammersmith and Fulham (£690,296) complete the top five.

For those looking to invest in a FTB property in the capital, it would seem Haringey is a good option. At £496,218, the average FTB house price in the borough is lower than the London average and less than half that of Kensington and Chelsea. However, it has seen the fifth largest increase in price since 2012, up just over £211,000. Waltham Forest also offers good prospects, with the current average FTB house price yet to hit £400,000, although the borough has seen an increase of more than £180,000 since 2012.

First time buyers are paying almost as much as second and third steppers in actual price terms yet the percentage increase in first-time buyer properties is tracking at even greater than regular house prices. It really does highlight the issue facing the nation’s next generation of aspirational homeowners.

How the government expect anyone to get on in life when the first hurdle they face is all but unobtainable, to begin with, is beyond me, especially in London. Over 90% of the capital’s boroughs have seen the price paid by first-time buyers increase by more than £100,000 in just four or so short years.

We must address this issue and find a way to bring homeownership back in reach of the average homebuyers, not just in London, or the surrounding commuter counties, but to the whole of England.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

County Average FTB House Price Change (£) Change (%)
2012 2016
City of London £555,616 £711,009 £155,393 28%
Greater London £298,890 £435,897 £137,007 46%
Surrey £227,355 £323,973 £96,618 42%
Hertfordshire £207,792 £305,043 £97,251 47%
Berkshire £199,262 £292,227 £92,965 47%
Oxfordshire £208,293 £286,962 £78,669 38%
Buckinghamshire £205,604 £286,511 £80,907 39%
West Sussex £172,083 £240,322 £68,239 40%
Cambridgeshire £165,347 £230,904 £65,558 40%
Hampshire £171,774 £230,867 £59,093 34%
Essex £165,984 £230,507 £64,523 39%
Bristol £159,916 £227,161 £67,245 42%
Kent £159,011 £216,804 £57,793 36%
Dorset £173,296 £214,366 £41,070 24%
Bedfordshire £143,620 £208,790 £65,170 45%
East Sussex £158,606 £208,559 £49,954 31%
Rutland £169,565 £204,857 £35,292 21%
Wiltshire £144,995 £202,552 £57,557 40%
Devon £165,797 £189,425 £23,627 14%
Gloucestershire £156,376 £188,197 £31,821 20%
Warwickshire £143,415 £181,892 £38,476 27%
Suffolk £139,471 £175,547 £36,076 26%
Cornwall £156,125 £174,843 £18,718 12%
Worcestershire £142,383 £170,652 £28,268 20%
Somerset £142,186 £169,847 £27,661 19%
Herefordshire £148,295 £167,913 £19,618 13%
Norfolk £134,465 £167,228 £32,763 24%
North Yorkshire £147,051 £166,637 £19,586 13%
Leicestershire £135,209 £165,754 £30,545 23%
Northamptonshire £124,838 £165,507 £40,669 33%
Isle of Wight £139,632 £161,626 £21,994 16%
Shropshire £122,596 £157,918 £35,322 29%
Staffordshire £124,698 £143,773 £19,075 15%
Cheshire £122,110 £142,376 £20,266 17%
Lincolnshire £112,835 £136,755 £23,920 21%
West Midlands £114,137 £135,614 £21,477 19%
Nottinghamshire £106,734 £131,813 £25,078 23%
Derbyshire £111,842 £131,547 £19,705 18%
Greater Manchester £103,448 £126,790 £23,342 23%
West Yorkshire £108,253 £124,791 £16,538 15%
Cumbria £109,049 £121,119 £12,070 11%
Northumberland £107,234 £120,957 £13,723 13%
Tyne and Wear £104,361 £117,110 £12,749 12%
East Riding of Yorkshire £97,127 £112,170 £15,043 15%
South Yorkshire £96,767 £112,107 £15,340 16%
Merseyside £99,611 £110,456 £10,844 11%
Lancashire £100,027 £108,703 £8,675 9%
Durham £83,487 £86,116 £2,629 3%
Average £153,887 £196,302 £42,451 28%
England (Non FTB) £174,179 £220,361 £46,182 27%
London Borough Average FTB House Price Change (£) Change (%)
2012 2016
Kensington And Chelsea £810,493 £1,105,761 £295,268 36%
City of Westminster £603,575 £906,882 £303,307 50%
City of London £555,616 £711,009 £155,393 28%
Camden £488,702 £699,020 £210,319 43%
Hammersmith and Fulham £437,937 £690,296 £252,359 58%
Islington £413,846 £639,385 £225,538 54%
Wandsworth £359,897 £532,737 £172,840 48%
Richmond upon Thames £348,635 £531,313 £182,677 52%
Hackney £311,042 £512,232 £201,190 65%
Haringey £284,508 £496,218 £211,710 74%
Southwark £284,136 £459,473 £175,337 62%
Lambeth £278,869 £458,281 £179,412 64%
Merton £264,034 £446,821 £182,787 69%
Tower Hamlets £275,938 £442,754 £166,815 60%
Barnet £294,548 £441,839 £147,291 50%
Ealing £273,773 £420,981 £147,208 54%
Brent £274,150 £416,773 £142,623 52%
Kingston upon Thames £265,393 £408,966 £143,573 54%
Waltham Forest £214,718 £397,977 £183,259 85%
Harrow £251,169 £373,668 £122,499 49%
Lewisham £208,529 £357,086 £148,557 71%
Hounslow £232,753 £348,214 £115,461 50%
Newham £211,778 £344,156 £132,378 63%
Greenwich £210,418 £341,039 £130,621 62%
Enfield £213,313 £338,568 £125,254 59%
Bromley £216,935 £338,284 £121,349 56%
Redbridge £215,044 £337,176 £122,132 57%
Hillingdon £208,684 £333,071 £124,387 60%
Sutton £194,578 £312,978 £118,400 61%
Croydon £182,269 £301,001 £118,732 65%
Bexley £175,586 £285,464 £109,878 63%
Havering £186,160 £281,836 £95,676 51%
Barking and Dagenham £157,097 £254,600 £97,503 62%
Average £300,125 £462,602 £162,477 54%
London (Non FTB) £336,011 £522,105 £186,094 55%
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