Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Belfast is one of the cheapest places in UK to buy a home

First-time buyers in Belfast require an annual income of £28,800 to get on the property ladder, reveals a new report

First-time buyers in Belfast need an average household income of £28,800 to get on the property ladder, according to a new report.

Zoopla, which analysed house prices in the UK’s 20 biggest cities, has revealed a 13 per cent increase over the past three years in the average annual income required to purchase a home, rising from £25,500 in 2016.

Belfast is one of the cheapest places in the UK to buy a home, with the average income required less than half the UK average, which stands at £54,400.

Only Liverpool (£26,100), Glasgow (£26,600) and Newcastle (£27,200) require an average lower annual income.

London remains the most expensive, but the average household income needed has fallen over three years by 4 per cent from £87,300 to £84,000. This follows three years of weak growth and small price falls in the capital.

Across all the cities looked at, the average income needed has increased by more than £4,500 over the past three years, Zoopla said.

The research made several assumptions, including that 30 per cent of a household’s take-home income is spent on mortgage costs, and that buyers borrow no more than four times their income. The analysis expected that buyers would have a 15 per cent deposit to put down, increasing to 25 per cent in the more expensive cities of London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Average mortgage rates were used to calculate repayments over a 30-year term.

Outside London, Cambridge and Oxford require the highest first-time buyer incomes, although like London these have also fallen over the past three years.

Aberdeen has also seen a big decrease in the average income needed to get on the property ladder, Zoopla said.

Leicester has seen the largest percentage increase in the income required to purchase since 2016, at 20 per cent, followed closely by Birmingham and Manchester, reflecting house price growth in these cities.

Research and insight director at Zoopla, Richard Donnell said that first-time buyers are an important group accounting for more than one in three sales.

Donnell said that while the average household income to buy a typical home across UK cities has grown 9 per cent since 2016, weaker price growth and recent price falls have led to a 5 per cent reduction in the income to buy across the most expensive cities.

It will come as a modest relief for would-be buyers although the income to purchase still remains relatively high.


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