The cost of a first home now tops £405,000

The surge in house prices is painful for first-time buy­ers but Ruth Bloom­field of­fers com­fort with her area-by-area house search guide

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - First-time Buyers -

THE fi­nan­cial strug­gle en­dured by Lon­don’s first-time buy­ers is high­lighted to­day in re­search re­veal­ing that the cost of an av­er­age first home in the cap­i­tal has topped £400,000 — com­ing in at an un­prece­dented £405,106, ex­clu­sive Lloyds Bank data shows. It means the sum a first-time buyer re­quires to se­cure a foothold on the cap­i­tal’s prop­erty lad­der has shot up 71 per cent since 2012.

The av­er­age loan taken out by a first­time buyer in Lon­don is £317,253 and they scrape to­gether an av­er­age de­posit of al­most £90,000 — de­spite in­ter­est rates at a record low.

In 2012 the typ­i­cal Lon­don first-time buyer needed to bud­get £939 a month to ser­vice their mort­gage. To­day they need to find £1,386, al­most twice the UK av­er­age. “Be­cause monthly mort­gage pay­ments and de­posits have in­creased sub­stan­tially, there was a five per cent drop in first-time pur­chases last year,” says An­drew Ma­son, mort­gage di­rec­tor for Lloyds Bank.

The cost of a typ­i­cal first home varies hugely across Lon­don, with the cheap­est in Bark­ing and Da­gen­ham, at an av­er­age £292,446, while Croy­don, Haver­ing and Bex­ley all come in un­der £350,000. But good-value lo­ca­tions where first­timers con­cen­trate their search have seen the steep­est price growth in the last five years. The cost of a first-time buy in Olympic bor­oughs Waltham For­est, Ne­wham and Green­wich has soared by more than 90 per cent since the Lon­don Games in 2012.

The av­er­age first-time mort­gage loan in Bark­ing and Da­gen­ham is £241,520, and in Haver­ing, En­field, Bex­ley and Croy­don it’s un­der £280,000. But in both Westminster and Cam­den it’s £450,000-plus.

In Westminster the av­er­age first-time buyer mort­gage re­pay­ment is £2,016 a month, while in Cam­den it’s £1,973. At the other end of the scale in Bark­ing and Da­gen­ham the fig­ure’s £1,055, while in Haver­ing, En­field and Bex­ley it’s less than £1,200.

De­posits are the key bar­rier to home own­er­ship in Lon­don, with the av­er­age put down by a first-timer soar­ing from £57,393 to £87,853 over five years. Nationwide, it’s £37,570. No Lon­don bor­ough has an av­er­age un­der £50,000. The cheap­est is Bark­ing and Da­gen­ham at £50,926.

HAVER­ING and Bex­ley are the only other bor­oughs with av­er­age de­posits un­der £60,000. To­wards central Lon­don the fig­ures rocket, with the big­gest, an eye-wa­ter­ing £190,518, paid in Ham­mer­smith and Ful­ham. In Cam­den the av­er­age de­posit is £150,331, and Is­ling­ton first­time buy­ers have to save £144,048.

lo­cal first-time buy­ers bor­row un­der £280,000 on av­er­age

£399,995: a twobed­room house in En­field. Call Baker & Chase (020 8012 4743)

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