Over 50% of towns affordable for first-time buyers

The average price paid by a first-time buyer is now affordable for someone on average earnings in 54% of all local authority districts, up from 40% a year ago and compared with 7% in 2007.

In addition, the average first-time buyer deposit is marginally lower than a year ago (£27,857) although still 59% higher than in 2002 (£17,523).

Halifax names the North East as the most affordable region in England, followed by the North West, while London is the only region with no affordable areas for first-time buyers on average earnings.

Scotland accounts for many of the most affordable locations for a first-time buyer – South Ayrshire leads the way with an average property price 2.5 times gross average annual earnings.

Halifax also reports that the number of first-time buyers rose to around 114,000 in the first-half of 2012, up by just over a third from the same period in 2011, partly as a result of the stamp duty concession.

However, the total is less than half the number recorded a decade ago (244,700).

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