As anyone who has ever tried to save for a deposit knows, buying a first home anywhere in 2018 Britain is not easy unless you are a high earner, have inherited money or been given financial help from family. And even if you make it on to the property ladder, making the second step to buying a family home when children arrive can also be a big hurdle. The good news is that our region is one of the best places in the whole of the UK when it comes to the affordability of buying your first property or stepping up to your second.
The national picture
London has seen a 0.7% drop in house prices in the year to the end of March 2018. This has happened against a backdrop of the rest of the UK seeing a house price rise of 4.2%. However, any temptation to see this as good news for those hoping to move in London should remember that the capital’s slowdown has done very little to make it more affordable, with the average house price in June 2018 at £663,837 according to Zoopla. The effect of London’s continuing unaffordability to the vast majority of people has meant that a generation who have lost hope of ever being able to afford to buy in the capital are looking further afield to England’s regions, including Leicestershire.
Leicester’s first-time buyer boom
New figures obtained by Hampton’s International for The Times found that 58% of property sales in Leicester in the year to the end of March were to first time buyers. This was second only to Leeds, which reported a figure of 63%. In Hammersmith and Fulham in West London on the other hand, only 2% of buyers were getting on the ladder for the first time, a fact that is not a surprise when you consider that the average house price there is £985, 120. With astronomical prices like this, it’s unsurprising that those aspiring to own a home are looking outside the capital to the relative affordability of cities like Leicester, where the average home cost £184, 750 in the same period of time.
Moving on up
Getting on the property ladder is often seen as the holy grail of homeownership, but unless your financial circumstances dramatically improve, it can be almost as difficult to become a second-stepper when you need more room. Analysis from Rightmove showed a shift away from the traditional 5-mile radius people traditionally look within when they house hunt for a bigger home. This new trend has seen the Midlands, the North and Wales benefit from second-steppers relocating as they find their forever homes in areas where the price gap to trade up is much smaller. Indeed, those who bought first properties in London often find that they can get vastly increased square footage for a small or even no extra investment in terms of the property price.
Relocating to Leicestershire
Like any area, different parts of Leicestershire vary in price. However, even sought-after locations like Market Harborough are still an extremely attractive proposition to those who would otherwise be looking at the much more expensive prices in London and the South East. Market Harborough in particular boasts great rail links to London St Pancras International with fast trains taking 60 minutes and an average of 48 trains departing for the capital on weekdays. Improvements to the station and track are in progress and the town also has a great selection of primary and secondary schools as well as good links to the motorway network.
If you would like advice about relocating to Leicestershire please call Naylors on 01858 450 020.