Although the capital is still the most expensive place in the country for potential home-owners, it is the only region where asking prices fell for this particular category of buyers
London is the only region of the UK where homes for first-time buyers got cheaper over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The average price tag for a property purchased by those on the first rung of the ladder has fallen by 1.4 per cent over the last 12 months, new data reveals today.
This drop takes the average asking price of a first-time buyer home in London to £474,950, according to Rightmove, a saving of £6,592.
This saving, in combination with the current stamp duty tax break means a total discount of £21,592 on homes worth more than £500,000.
For homes below this threshold there is no stamp duty to pay until the end of March.
Although the capital is still the most expensive place in the country for wannabe home-owners, it is the only region where asking prices fell for first time buyers.
Despite higher asking prices in London, first-time buyers in the capital appear to have a window of opportunity to negotiate a good deal, says Tim Bannister, director of data at Rightmove.
Levels of supply for first-time buyers rocketed in London compared to other cities, he continued.
If you look at some of the other major cities such as Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester, homes listed for sale were only up between five and seven per cent. But in the capital, total stock aimed at first-time buyers rose by more than a third last year, he said. Such a swell in supply puts downward pressure on prices.
The greatest levels of activity by prospective first-time buyers have been in the outer boroughs of London where their money goes further and may stretch to a property with a garden.
Following the first national lockdown outside space shot up the buyer priority list over the convenience of living within the cool confines of inner London – for the time being at least.
Neil Ewen, a director at Central Estate in Walthamstow, is seeing high demand on the outskirts of London but thinks the overall asking price average is being pulled down by falls in the expensive inner core of the capital.
There is no real incentive to buy near the centre at the moment [because of the lockdown], he adds.
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