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Price tags on first-time buyer homes in north-west England ‘rising fastest’

The average asking price for a first-time buyer home in the North West is 8.6% higher than a year earlier, while in London prices are down by 1.4%.

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Sellers in the North West who are looking to trade up could be in a strong position (PA)

Sellers in the North West who are looking to trade up could be in a strong position (PA)

Sellers in the North West who are looking to trade up could be in a strong position (PA)

Price tags on first-time buyer homes in the north-west of England are increasing at a faster rate than in any other nation or region in Britain, analysis has found.

At £144,453, the average asking price for a first-time buyer home in the north-west of England is 8.6% higher than it was 12 months earlier, Rightmove found.

This was the biggest annual percentage increase in its study across Britain.

While this is a blow for first-time buyers, it may give a boost to “second steppers” – those who are currently living in the first home they have ever bought and are now looking to trade up – as the value of their current property may have significantly increased.

Yorkshire and the Humber had the second biggest annual increase in average asking prices for first-time buyer homes, at 8.4%, followed by the West Midlands, at 7%.

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Property prices for first-time buyers have jumped by 8.6% annually in the North West (Martin Rickett/PA)

Property prices for first-time buyers have jumped by 8.6% annually in the North West (Martin Rickett/PA)

PA

Property prices for first-time buyers have jumped by 8.6% annually in the North West (Martin Rickett/PA)

First-time buyer homes are typically most expensive in London, with an average asking price of £474,950, while starter homes in the north-east of England have the least expensive price tag typically, at £112,150.

London is the only region where average asking prices for first-time buyer properties have fallen year-on-year, Rightmove said.

While people trying to get on to the property ladder in London may be unlikely to get much change from half a million pounds, prices in London have fallen by 1.4% annually.

Across Britain, the average asking price for a first-time buyer property is £200,578, up by 3.9% or £7,475 compared with a year ago.

Prices for first-time buyers have increased at a faster rate than the market generally, with average asking prices for the whole market increasing by 3.3% annually.

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First-time buyers in London may have a ‘window of opportunity’ as asking prices have dipped annually (Andrew Matthews/PA)

First-time buyers in London may have a ‘window of opportunity’ as asking prices have dipped annually (Andrew Matthews/PA)

PA

First-time buyers in London may have a ‘window of opportunity’ as asking prices have dipped annually (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Rightmove’s director of property data Tim Bannister said: “Despite the higher asking prices in London, first-time buyers in the capital appear to have a window of opportunity to negotiate a good deal, with this being the only region to have seen average first-time buyer asking prices fall over the past 12 months.

“Conversely, sellers in the North West who are looking to trade up and move into a bigger home are in a strong position, with average asking prices for first-time buyer properties having jumped by 8.6% during the same period, which is a good indicator of a strong market.”

Richard Powell, director at Ryder & Dutton, an estate agency covering Lancashire, Manchester and West Yorkshire, said: “The North West possibly has a greater stock of properties that are more easily accessible for first-time buyers – places such as Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and Blackburn – these big, former mill towns have lots of terraced properties around the £100,000 to £200,000 mark that are available to buy.

“And coupled with more Help to Buy schemes and new-build developments, it’s probably easier to become a first-time buyer in this part of the world than many other regions, which also helps to push prices up.

“We’ve also seen a reluctance from people in their first homes to move up the ladder because they haven’t had confidence in the market to do so. Over the past four years or so with Brexit and now Covid, we’re seeing a lot of pent-up supply as well as pent-up demand.”

Neil Ewen, director at Central Estate in Walthamstow in London, said: “We’re based towards the outskirts of London, where people can get a bit more space and the neighbourhoods are a little greener, and we’re seeing huge levels of demand for first-time buyer properties.

“About 80% of our business is with first-time buyers and even as recently as January we were seeing really high levels of demand for property.”

He added: “I think it’s a good time to get on the ladder in Walthamstow – it’s a cool place with lots going on and even our properties that were previously struggling to find a buyer are now being snapped up.”

Here are average asking prices for first-time buyer homes in January 2021, followed by January 2020, and the annual percentage change, according to Rightmove, which defined first-time homes as properties with two bedrooms or fewer:

– North West, £144,453, £133,011, 8.6%

– Yorkshire and the Humber, £148,060, £136,617, 8.4%

– West Midlands, £165,510, £154,723, 7%

– East Midlands, £163,011, £154,169, 5.7%

– North East, £112,150, £106,212, 5.6%

– South West, £219,133, £210,335, 4.2%

– Wales, £147,074, £141,233, 4.1%

– Scotland, £121,507, £116,742, 4.1%

– South East, £261,122, £255,800, 2.1%

– East of England, £243,492, £238,645, 2%

– London, £474,950, £481,542, minus 1.4%

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