Brits need to earn an average of £54k a year to buy their first home

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  • Great.

    It’s not exactly breaking news that millennials are struggling to get their feet on the property ladder. Declining avocado toast and lattes isn’t really going to make much difference when you consider that you need a £72,369 deposit for a one-bed flat in London, according to research by If you don’t want to live in the capital, the best city for a first-time buyer sounds pretty tempting – but, of course, still requires adequate savings and a decent deposit.

    To make matters worse, it was recently announced that the Help to Buy ISA scheme will be dropped this year, making it that bit harder for young people to make the dream of owning their own home a reality. Just to really emphasise the reality of home ownership in the current economic climate, UK house prices have increased from £180,548 in 2013 to £248,233 in 2018 while earnings have risen by just 11% over the same period.


    As if things weren’t bleak enough, new research from Zoopla found that the average city-dwelling Brit needs to earn £54,400 per annum to buy their first home. And if you’re looking to make a purchase in London you need to be earning around £84,000. Gulp.

    The research reviewed UK house prices and assumed that buyers would have a 15% deposit (or 25% in London, Oxford and Cambridge). It sticks to the traditional model that sees buyers borrowing no more than four times their income and spending 30% of their take-home pay on their mortgage.

    Granted, this is the total income per household so if you’re in a couple, great! If you’re single – sorry. Just another example of why being single is costing you thousands.

    But the tiny bit of good news is that the average income needed has actually dropped by £3,300 since 2016.

    The research found that the cities that require the lowest average income were Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle.

    Here’s the full list of the average salary needed to buy a first property:

    • Liverpool – £26,100
    • Glasgow – £26,600
    • Newcastle – £25,500
    • Belfast – £28,800
    • Sheffield – £29,500
    • Nottingham – £32,900
    • Aberdeen – £33,700
    • Birmingham – £35,200
    • Leeds – £35,500
    • Manchester – £36,200
    • Leicester – £38,000
    • Cardiff  – £44,600
    • Southampton – £48,500
    • Edinburgh – £48,700
    • Portsmouth – £50,700
    • Bristol – £59,500
    • Bournemouth – £62,300
    • Oxford – £68,800
    • Cambridge – £72,000
    • London – £84,000

    Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla said: ‘First-time buyers are an important group accounting for more than one in three sales.

    ‘While the average household income to buy a typical home across UK cities has grown 9% since 2016, weaker price growth and recent price falls have led to a 5% reduction in the income to buy across the most expensive cities.

    ‘It will come as a modest relief for would-be buyers although the income to purchase still remains relatively high.’

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