First-Time Buyers: Would you move to a more affordable area in the UK?

First-Time Buyers: Would you move to a more affordable area in the UK?

A recent article published on This is Money has revealed the most and least affordable areas to buy a home in the UK and compares these differences in affordability. In fact, this same article reveals that one in four movers chose a more affordable area, which is an increase from one in five in 2022 (information provided by Hamptons International). 

A big reason for this change is the increase in first-time buyers. Aneisha Beveridge, Head of Research at Hamptons International, confirms this by saying that “first-time buyers have gone against the odds and purchased a record of 28 percent of homes across Great Britain this year.” 

We all know that house prices have fallen over the past year or so; however, with mortgage rates continuing at a high rate, buyers are left with no choice but to purchase smaller properties in more affordable locations, perhaps not what they had in mind when beginning their home buying process. 

“The cost of a typical UK home is now 6.7 times average earnings,according to Halifax – but this varies considerably depending on where you live. The cheapest local area to live in the UK is Inverclyde in Scotland, where average house prices are only 2.9 times higher than average annual earnings. The most expensive local area to live in is either Westminster or the City of London where house prices are a staggering 16 times the average annual income in each area.” – This is Money, article linked below. 

The contrast in house prices and general affordability between several locations across the UK is the key factor contributing to first-time buyers being willing to move to a cheaper area. The truth is that this makes perfect sense. Many of these first-time buyers work in industries where working from home is the new normal. Attending a physical office or workspace is no longer a necessity. If that’s the case, there’s no need to live in an area not deemed affordable. Instead, it would be logical to look for a more affordable alternative. 

For example, let’s suppose a first-time buyer is looking at properties in Greater London. Based on the study provided by Halifax, the average house price in the city of London is £915k. Eight miles down the road in Barking, the average drops substantially to £310k. In the South East, Portsmouth is the least expensive area to live in, with an average house price of £224k. With its good transport links, access to London is not difficult. 

Well, if the buyer is able to work from home, the decision is a no-brainer! The downside to these findings is that not everyone can work from home. It is increasingly challenging to afford property in those more expensive areas. 

With recent inflationary pressures showing signs of abating combined with interest rates stabilising many nervous buyers are tentatively returning to the market armed with some confidence rates are no longer spiralling out of control and house prices unlikely to plummet! We have seen clients in recent days reconnecting to run various mortgage scenarios with the intention of entertaining a move once more subject to,  right house price negotiation and choosing the right mortgage product length to remain reactive to speculated BOEBR rate drops in 1-2 years time. 

 So, as a first-time buyer, what are the next steps? Simple, arrange a call with a Carbon mortgage advisor and start to understand your options so you can make an informed choice. Feel free to call 01932 505 340 or email us at:

Thank you to Ed Magnus, This is Money, Aneisha Beveridge, Hamptons International and Halifax for the timely information. You can read the full article here: