When it comes to buying their first home, most people tend to stay where their family and work are located.
But if you had the whole UK to choose from, which places would be the best?
The Co-operative Bank has ranked 30 UK cities using metrics such as median house prices, crime rates, traffic levels and life satisfaction, to determine the top destination for buyers by first time.
Swansea tops the list as the UK’s most attractive city for first-time buyers to settle in
According to their research, Swansea is the best city in the UK to get into property.
Wales’ second city has an average total cost of buying a home of £195,687, making it one of the most affordable cities in the UK.
The costs used in the research include the price of the house, as well as conveyancing, inspection and stamp duty, although first-time buyers will not pay the latter if their house costs less than £425,000.
Why is Swansea a prime location?
Matthew Barry, director of Swansea-based estate agency Astleys, told This is Money: ‘Swansea stands out as a fantastic option for first-time buyers due to its diverse housing options and reasonable prices.
‘The city offers a variety of housing types ranging from apartments to independent houses, to suit different preferences and budgets.
“One of the main attractions of Swansea for first-time buyers is its affordability compared to larger cities, making real estate more accessible.”
Meanwhile, Ben Davies, managing director of estate agents Belvoir Swansea, said: “Swansea offers first-time buyers a lifestyle option that many big cities cannot compete with.” We are lucky to have an incredible coastline here in Swansea stretching from the city around the Gower Peninsula, as well as many green spaces and world-renowned beaches.’
“The beautiful area we live in, coupled with affordable house prices, makes Swansea a very attractive option for people looking to get into housing for the first time.”
Beyond affordability, Swansea achieved a low crime safety rating and a life satisfaction rating of 7.5 out of 10.
The city also had a traffic index score of 93.6, lower than eight of the cities in the top ten, only losing out to Sheffield with 90.3 and Stoke-on-Trent with 83.5.
Buyers typically need to save at least 10% of the cost of the property they want to purchase.
What other locations are listed?
Despite having an average home buying cost of £346,293 (the third highest after Bristol and London), Edinburgh ranks as the second best place for first-time buyers to settle.
The Scottish capital, however, has the lowest crime safety index, at just 30.9, and the highest life satisfaction index, at 7.7 out of 10.
The cheapest city in the top 10 was Blackpool, which came in as the seventh best choice for first-time buyers, with an average purchase cost of £135,995, much less than half what it costs to buy a home in Edinburgh.
Although house prices are considerably lower in Blackpool, it has a crime safety rating of 59.1, the highest among the top ten destinations. Even so, it obtained a satisfaction rate of 7.5 out of 10.
Along with Blackpool, Kingston upon Hull, Stoke-on-Trent and Sunderland ranked in the top ten cities, with average purchase prices of £140,814, £143,642 and £147,319 respectively.
This compares with a huge average purchase price of £547,360 for homes in London, the most expensive city.
Of the 30 cities analysed, London appears as the second worst option for first-time buyers to settle down, with only Southend-on-Sea proving to be a worse option for buying their first home.
The third best city for first home buyers was Plymouth, The Co-operative Bank said, with an average purchase price of £225,060, a crime safety index of 41.5 and a satisfaction rate of 7.5 out of 10.
Leeds and Newport are also among the most favorable locations.
Of course, despite the benefits of low crime, minimal traffic and high life satisfaction, for most first-time buyers the decision about where to put down roots often comes down to a question of cost.
A Co-operative Bank spokesperson said: ‘Normally you will need to save a minimum of 10 per cent of the cost of the property you want to buy.
‘There are government schemes available to help you achieve this, such as the Lifetime Isa, which allows you to earn up to an extra £1,000 a year through a 25 per cent government bonus.
‘You will also need to work out how much you can spend and create a budget.
‘Finally, first-time buyers could especially benefit from using a broker. They can help you find the best mortgage for your needs and explain how the market works.
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