The average deposit put down by a first-time buyer in London is fast approaching the price of a starter home in Northern Ireland, new figures have revealed.
In London, the average first-time buyer's deposit last year was £91,409 - more than five times as big a deposit as in Northern Ireland, at £16,578.
The typical price for a starter home in London was £367,990, while in Northern Ireland it was £108,542.
First-time buyers in London typically put down a deposit of around 25%, while those in Northern Ireland, who typically needed a much smaller mortgage, needed a 15% deposit on average.
The Halifax research also found that the estimated number of first-time buyers across the UK slipped back in 2015 for the first time in four years as the typical deposit needed tipped over the £30,000 mark.
Halifax estimated that around 310,000 people took on a mortgage last year, edging down by 0.5% from the 311,700 people who did so in 2014. It marks the first annual decline in first-time buyers across the UK since 2011, Halifax's report said.
The decline is partly due to a lack of homes for buyers to choose from, the report suggested.
And with supply shortages continuing to put upward pressure on house prices, the average deposit a first-time buyer needed to pay in 2015 was 13% or £3,833 higher than in 2014, Halifax said.
In 2014, the typical deposit paid by a first-time buyer was £29,094, but in 2015 the average first-time deposit was £32,927.
The average price paid for a home by a first-time buyer increased by 10% in 2015 to reach £190,180, Halifax said. The average first-time buyer put down a 17% deposit.
In Scotland, a typical starter home cost £133,178 last year, while in Wales the average price paid was £124,817.
The research also found that people are increasingly taking on a mortgage for which they will extend their borrowing over 35 years in order to get on the property ladder, rather than the more traditional 25-year term.
In 2007, 16% of first-time buyers took on a 35-year mortgage, but in 2015 this had grown to one in four (26%) buyers in this sector.
Despite the slight drop-off in the number of first-time buyers last year, the number has grown by nearly two-thirds (60%) compared with 2011, when 193,700 people took their first step on the property ladder.