Study reveals cheapest cities in the UK for first time buyers

Yorkshire and the Midlands are the best value cities in the UK in terms of property costs for first time buyers, according to new research.

Eight cities across the two counties offer the best deal to those seeking to get on the housing ladder based on the cost per square foot for buying a property, led by Bradford.

The data from estate agent Manning Stainton shows that properties in Bradford are £133 per square foot, while in Sheffield, Leeds and York they are under also well priced, along with Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Birmingham.

The study looked at sales to those looking to make their first step on to the property ladder, and compared different types of houses including detached, semi-detached, terrace and flats to uncover which provides the best value.

Northern cities feature prominently in the top 20. In Bradford with an average price of £133 per square foot, the average price for a first time buyer is £113,515 and the difference between a first time buyer property and the average UK house price is 75%.

In second place is Belfast, with a first time buyer price of £140 per square foot or £133,129 with a difference of 73%, followed by Liverpool at £162 square foot or £148,772 and a difference of 69%.

In fourth place is Nottingham, followed by Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leicester, Manchester, Coventry, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, York, Southampton, Edinburgh, Bristol, Cambridge, Brighton and then London.

Belfast is also the best value for those looking to purchase any house type, with a terrace costing £107 per square foot. The next best value for a terraced home is Bradford at £114 per square foot, followed by Liverpool £118, Nottingham £140 and Glasgow at £152 for this type of home.

Bradford once again features as the lowest price for a semi-detached at £127 per square foot, followed by Belfast at £139, Nottingham at £155, Liverpool at £157 and Newcastle at £163.

Meanwhile flats across the UK see a similar picture, with Bradford at £140 per square foot, followed by Belfast at £155, Glasgow at £167, Coventry at £175 and Leicester at £176.

For those where size matters, Cambridge is the UK’s best location with the average house offering first time buyers 1,089 square feet, followed by Leicester at 1,079 square feet, York at 1,067, Nottingham at 1,033 and Newcastle at 1,028.

As expected, houses in the South are being sold for more with Londoners expecting to pay on average £566,589, while Cambridge may have the biggest properties but it comes at a price with the average house being sold for £397,651.

‘This research demonstrates the huge differences in property prices that first time buyers across the UK are faced with, with those in the capital having to pay almost six times more per square foot of property than those looking to buy in Bradford and Belfast,’ said Mark Manning, managing director of Manning Stainton.

‘It’s no wonder first time buyer numbers are falling in the capital and more people are choosing to relocate North to get a foot on the ladder. With interest rates now on the way up, first time buyers may be squeezed even more, and I predict we’ll see an increase in those re-locating north of the capital in order to be able to buy their first home,’ he added.