First time buyers up 22% but Camden is the least affordable area in the UK

First time buyers are at their highest level since 2007 but Camden is the least affordable part of t

First time buyers are at their highest level since 2007 but Camden is the least affordable part of the country. Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Camden is the least affordable local authority district in the UK for first time buyers, while Haringey is the fifth least affordable in the country.

The average property price for a first home in Camden is £614,315, 11.4 times the gross average annual earnings in the area. The ratio in Haringey is 9.9 times average earnings.

The most affordable district was Larne in Northern Ireland, where prices were 2.8 times average earnings.

The report by Halifax found that the story for first time buyers in Greater London is very different from the rest of the UK, where the proportion of areas that are affordable for first time buyers on average earnings has increased from 5 per cent at the peak of the market in 2007 to 26 pc last year.

In Greater London the average first home cost £323,333, while nationwide the average price paid by first time buyers was £171,870, a 9 pc increase on 2013.

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The average deposit in 2014 was £29,218, which was 17 pc of the purchase price, down from 20 pc in 2013 but significantly higher than the 10 pc required in 2007.

Buyers in Greater London had the largest average deposit at £78,823, 24 pc of the average purchase price.

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Meanwhile the volume of lending to first time buyers at a loan to value ration of 90 pc and above increased from 26 pc in 2013 to 31 pc in 2014.

This has resulted in the number of UK first-time buyers reaching its highest level since 2007, up 22 per cent on the previous year and 70 pc higher than 2008.

There were 326,500 first time buyers in 2014, accounting for 46 pc of all house purchases made with a mortgage, compared with 36 pc in 2007.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “First-time buyers are vital for a properly functioning housing market.

“Improving economic conditions and rising employment levels have boosted confidence among those thinking about getting on to the housing ladder for the first time, contributing to the significant increase in the number of first-time buyers in the past two years.”