Housing

These 12 UK cities offer the best value for first-time buyers right now

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Amy Beecham
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A new survey has revealed the 12 cities where property asking prices have dropped the most – or have remained at a standstill – since January this year.

To say that it’s hard to get on the property ladder is an understatement. Unless you have financial help or the ability to live rent-free while you save for a deposit, it seems almost impossible amid skyrocketing average asking prices and the job insecurity brought on by the pandemic.

So if you’re not in a position to start thinking about buying your own place, there’s absolutely no shame in that. However, there may be some positive news for first-time buyers.

A new survey conducted by Rightmove looked at city centres across the country where asking prices have dropped the most – or have remained at a standstill – since January this year. 

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Since the pandemic, asking prices in countryside and coastal areas have kept rising as buyers seek a quieter life with more space.

However, Rightmove is reporting that demand from buyers in city centres is increasing again, and suggests this  could be a good chance to buy a place while prices are cheaper than normal and mortgage lenders are offering competitive low-deposit loans.

According to Rightmove’s research, one in five first-time buyers has said they are either planning to use, or are already using the government’s 95% mortgage guarantee scheme, which was introduced in April.

With this scheme, instead of having to save for a 15% or 20% deposit, you can buy a home worth up to £600,000 with a deposit of just 5%.

But they don’t come without risk. Sarah Neate, editor in chief of Ocean Finance, told Stylist: “It’s worth noting that 95% LTV (loan-to-value) mortgages tend to have interest rates that are around 0.7-1% higher than 90% LTV mortgages. This means you’ll be paying more each month than if you had a 10% deposit.”

Here are Rightmove’s best cities in the UK for first-time buyers. 

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Best cities in the UK for first-time buyers

  • Leeds City Centre

    Leeds
    Best UK cities for first time buyers: Leeds

    Average asking price (April 2021): £159,972

    Average asking price (January 2021): £166,760

    Percentage change: -4%

  • Sheffield City Centre

    Sheffield
    Best UK cities for first-time buyers: Sheffield

    Average asking price (April 2021): £124,097

    Average asking price (January 2021): £128,606

    Percentage change: -4%

  • Nottingham City Centre

    Nottingham
    Best UK cities for first-time buyers: Nottingham

    Average asking price (April 2021): £178,390

    Average asking price (January 2021): £183,542

    Percentage change: -3%

  • Cardiff City Centre

    Cardiff
    Best UK cities for first-time buyers: Cardiff

    Average asking price (April 2021): £209,130

    Average asking price (January 2021): £212,521

    Percentage change: -2%

  • Southampton City Centre

    Southampton
    Best UK cities for first-time buyers: Southampton

    Average asking price (April 2021): £206,637

    Average asking price (January 2021): £209,586

    Percentage change: -1%

  • Liverpool City Centre

    Liverpool
    Best UK cities for first-time buyers: Liverpool

    Average asking price (April 2021): £161,860

    Average asking price (January 2021): £163,900

    Percentage change: -1%

  • Birmingham City Centre

    Birmingham
    Best UK cities for first-time buyers: Birmingham

    Average asking price (April 2021): £215,604

    Average asking price (January 2021): £217,524

    Percentage change: -1%

  • Norwich City Centre

    Norwich
    Best UK cities for first time buyers: Norwich

    Average asking price (April 2021): £226,354

    Average asking price (January 2021): £228,258

    Percentage change: -1%

  • Manchester City Centre

    Manchester
    Best UK cities for first time buyers: Manchester

    Average asking price (April 2021): £230,796

    Average asking price (January 2021): £231,766

    Percentage change: 0%

  • Newcastle City Centre

    Newcastle
    Best UK cities for first time buyers: Newcastle

    Average asking price (April 2021): £170,512

    Average asking price (January 2021): £170,148

    Percentage change: 0%

  • Hull City Centre

    Hull
    Best UK cities for first time buyers: Hull

    Average asking price (April 2021): £127,208

    Average asking price (January 2021): £126,776

    Percentage change: 0%

  • London

    London
    Best UK cities for first time buyers: London

    Average asking price (April 2021): £477,001

    Average asking price (January 2021): £474,950

    Percentage change: 0%

    * first-time buyer prices

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