Buying your first property is a big commitment, and there are many factors involved in the decision-making process, from budget to local amenities to employment opportunities. Historically, location has always been one of the main deciding factors for first time buyers for this good reason.
However, as a result of the rising cost of living, interest rates and the emergence of hybrid working, typical first-time buyer hotspots are shifting.
So where is the best place to buy property in the UK for those looking to get onto the property ladder? Here, we look at emerging hotspots that are providing the best value for first time buyers and why.
This year has been a big year for the UK’s Second City as it hosted the Commonwealth Games, bringing with it an unprecedented level of investment into city-wide regeneration projects in previous years. Additional projects include the construction of Curzon Street Station and the HS2 line.
As one of the youngest cities in Europe, Birmingham is a great opportunity for first time homebuyers and offers residents great employment opportunities, world-class amenities and more. According to CV Library, Birmingham presents recent graduates with the best potential salary growth in the future at 53.9% above the graduate average.
Situated in the centre of England, approximately 90% of the country lying within a 4-hour drive from the city. Completion of HS2 will also make inter-city commutes more viable, thereby opening the door to a wealth of further job opportunities and cementing the city’s position as one of the best places to buy property.
Using Land Registry data, Savills found that average property prices in Birmingham are almost a third of those in Greater London — just over £250,000, compared with almost £700,000. Our own analysis of Land Registry data indicates that property prices are likely to boom in the wake of the Commonwealth Games, as evident from past host cities: Manchester and Glasgow.
Now is a great time to buy and invest in property in Birmingham. Find out more about the area in our guide, here.
South East Region
There has been substantial investment in regenerating towns in the South East that has elevated the region to be one of the best up and coming property areas in the UK, providing an incredible alternative property hotspot for first time buyers working in or looking to leave the capital. In fact, data from Halifax revealed that the South East was the most popular region for first-time buyers, with London coming a close second and the North West and West Midlands in third and fourth place respectively.
As interest in city centre living revives itself after the pandemic’s “Race for Space” and the opening of the Elizabeth Line, the appeal of locations within London’s commuter belt in the South East has become stronger.
The Crossrail Effect is in full swing, and the accessibility that the new Elizabeth Line provides people in the region has seen the average distance for those purchasing a property increase to around 35 miles outside of London. With that said, here are our top picks for first time homebuyers.
Identified by Zoopla as Britain’s most popular search area for first time property buyers back in 2020, this leafy town continues to draw a huge amount of interest within the property market. Reading was recently named one of the best places to live in the South East by The Times, and for good reason.
Situated just 41 miles from London, it is extremely well connected to the capital with 384 trains departing from Paddington for Reading every day leaving approximately every 5 to 10 minutes and taking as little as 25 minutes on a direct route. Additionally, Reading is the starting point for the new Elizabeth Line meaning journey times to central London are now even quicker and easier, providing a huge benefit for working professionals who commute to offices in the capital.
Perhaps best known for its very own Reading Festival, the town offers great entertainment and nightlife, with The Oracle shopping centre, Broad Street Mall and Harris Arcade providing ample retail prospects.
The future holds big things for Reading, with £750 million worth of regeneration works at Station Hill proposed to bring over 1000 new homes, 600,000 sq. ft of office space as well as 100,00 sq. ft of retail and leisure space.
Slough is a great place for first time buyers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital and get more value for their money.
This lively town has developed a strong reputation as a business and innovation hub, with the town hosting one of the highest concentrations of large corporate headquarters in the UK including Fiat and Nintendo. In fact, it was recently voted the “Best Place to Live and Work” for the third year running by The Times, owing to its abundance of well-paid job opportunities and high average salaries.
Also benefitting from the Elizabeth Line, Slough has become a property hotspot for working professionals looking for more affordable options outside the capital. With commutes as little as 13 minutes to London Paddington and planned improvements to Slough’s main train station to allow a train to central London every 2.5 minutes at peak times, the town is best placed for city workers and those who have adopted a hybrid style of working.
All of this is topped off with extremely reasonable property prices. Land Registry House Price Index data reveals the average property price for first time homebuyers in Slough is 38% less than the capital, standing at £295,334 in August compared to £476,248 in London.
Discover our apartments for sale in Slough or find out more about what Slough has to offer first time buyers in our area here.
With a strong commercial centre and a high concentration of major global technology companies such as Dell, Microsoft and Oracle, Bracknell forms part of the UK’s “Silicon Valley” and provides potential first time buyers plenty of job opportunities. In fact, the town’s technology economy totals approximately £5.5 billion.
Situated just 34 miles from the capital and 11 miles from neighbouring Reading, Bracknell is part of Reading’s “travel-to-work” area, and because of its proximity to the City of London, property in the town is very popular amongst working professionals who regularly commute into these areas, as well as to Slough and other parts of the South East.
As more people looked to buy property with outdoor space, Bracknell’s residents can enjoy over 150 parks and green spaces throughout the area in addition to the revitalised town centre complete with an extensive leisure centre, The Lexicon shopping centre and plenty of entertainment facilities.
Sitting just below Slough as one of the cheapest commuter towns according to the average house prices, Bracknell placed 13th, with an average price of £331,495 for first time buyers according to Land Registry data.
Find out what Bracknell residents say about life on the commuter belt, discover our apartments for sale in Bracknell or find out more about what Bracknell has to offer first time buyers in our area here.
Demand for property in London has always been high, with the appeal of the bustling city, its culture, social and employment opportunities, in addition to great transport facilities that are unrivalled in the UK making living in the city extremely desirable.
Property agents Douglas & Gordon have found that the number of first-time buyers has been steadily rising in London over the last few years, accounting for a strong percentage of first-time buyers across the country.
Although the Capital is notorious for its high property prices, this can vary substantially from borough to borough, meaning there is still opportunity for homebuyers to enter the housing market and still get value for their money.
SevenCapital Apartments for Sale
SevenCapital are proud to present high specification apartments for sale in Birmingham and the South East primely situated in central locations so that residents can benefit from all that the location has to offer.
Find out more about our property developments and their locations here.