Town most affordable for first-time buyers

HARTLEPOOL is the most affordable place for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder in England, a new study has found.

The study by mortgage lender Halifax found the average house price to earnings ratio in the town stood at 2.91.

The town was placed top of the table ahead of Rossendale, in Lancashire.

Sue Campbell, office manager at Ron Greig Estate Agents in South Road, Hartlepool, said: “It is a buyers’ market.

“A few months ago I would say it was the high-end of the market that was moving, but now the lower-end is kicking in and we are seeing more first-time buyers.”

Across the UK the town was placed ninth, with all of the top eight local authority areas located in Scotland.

The least affordable was Camden in London with a 9.02 average house price to earnings ratio and all of the most expensive 10 were in the South East.

Nationwide the study also found the average age of a first-time buyer has risen to 30, from 29 a year ago, and the typical deposit required is 20 per cent, compared with the deposit of around 10 per cent put down in 2007, Halifax found.

Around 216,000 people took their first step on the property ladder in 2012, the highest number since 2007.