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Terraced London houses in Whitechapel
Photograph: Ben Henderson/flickr

First-time buyers in London pay double the UK average

Written by
Josh Mcloughlin
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Lots of Londoners feel they can never live anywhere else in the UK. After all, where else can offer a world-class transit system (aside from the strikes), the best arts and culture on the planet, and fried chicken so damn good it has its own connoisseur

But there's definitely one thing London lags far behind the rest of the country on: house prices. Everyone knows that property (and car insurance, pints and just about everything else) is more expensive in the capital, but how exactly does London compare to other parts of the UK for first-time buyers?

Well, there is some good news for those trying to get on their first rung of the property ladder. First-time home buying is at its highest level since the financial crisis, according to new research by Halifax. The lender estimated there were more than 335,000 first-time buyers in 2016, a number not seen since the 359,900 in 2007.

The bad news is that average house prices for first properties are rising, and first-timers are increasingly required to front big deposits in the hope of buying. The average house price in the UK last year for a first-time buyer was £205,170, while in London, the average was – brace yourselves – almost double that at £402,692.

Worse still, in the last ten years, the average deposit scraped together by first-time buyers in London rose to an eye-watering £100,445. That's an increase of 276 percent on the average for 2007.

The most expensive local authority in London (and the country) for first-time buyers was Brent, where the average house price was 12.6 times the average earnings, closely followed by Haringey (12.4) and Lambeth (12.0). Oh, and nine of the top ten most expensive local authority districts were in London.

How does London compare to the UK's other big cities? Birmingham, where thirtysomething Londoners are fleeing in their droves in the hope of getting on the property ladder, is the capital of the West Midlands region, where the average deposit is just £24,162 – about five percent of what you'd need in London, whilst the average house costs £159,732. 

In the North West, which contains both Liverpool and Manchester, prices are lower still. The average house will set first-time buyers back £144,367, whilst average deposits clock in at just £19,462.

We may all be skint and have no hope of ever owning a house, but at least we've got a peanut butter and toast pop-up bar, eh?

In other news, a toxic air alert has been issued in London this week.

And have you heard about the plans to regenerate the Undercroft skate park on the South Bank?

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