The 10 Cheapest Cities For First-Time Buyers, Where Getting On The Housing Ladder Can Still Be Done For £100k

Annabel Dixon April 26, 2024

Aberdeen tops the 10-strong ranking of the most affordable places for aspiring homeowners. And as you might have guessed, they’re all north of the Watford Gap.

Aberdeen in Scotland has been hailed the cheapest city to get onto the housing ladder, where average asking prices for a typical first-time buyer home stand at £102,601.

The ‘Granite City’ was famously known as the oil capital of Europe. But as the focus shifts to renewable energy, first-time buyers could get a ringside seat for the city’s changing dynamics (as well as take advantage of affordable house prices).

This one-bedroom flat on Fonthill Road in Aberdeen is on sale for £85,000 via Low & Partners.

Bradford is the second cheapest city to be a first-time buyer, where properties with two bedrooms or less have £107,929 average asking prices. Timely moment to move to Bradford perhaps as it begins its countdown to become UK City of Culture in 2025.

Sunderland and Carlisle follow, with average asking prices for a first-time buyer property closely aligned at £111,263 and £111,268 respectively.

Recommended videos for you Buyers in the south will be left disappointed — though probably not surprised. Preston, Hull, Dundee, Stoke-on-Trent, Durham, and Doncaster complete Rightmove’s ranking of the 10 cheapest cities for first-time buyers.

This two-bedroom flat in Durham has a £113,995 price tag. It’s on the market with Pattinson – Peterlee.

Putting the numbers to one side, what else would lure first-time buyers to these cities? Places such as Bradford and Sunderland are well-connected to major regional cities. The likes of Aberdeen, Carlisle and Dundee have some stunning rugged scenery on their doorsteps. The Humber Bridge, thought to be the 12th largest single span bridge in the world, helps to put Hull on the map. Durham is a petite and charming spot. But a city that has it all? Let us know…

Rightmove also reveals that it’s now cheaper to own a home than rent one in each of Britain’s largest cities. But that assumes first-time buyers have squirelled away enough to put down a 20% or 25% deposit in the first place. And that is no mean feat in this day and age: the average UK house price is £288,430 (according to Halifax).

In Aberdeen, for example, a first-time buyer with a 20% deposit and a 35-year mortgage term would fork out an average £406 on monthly mortgage payments compared with £775 on average monthly rent*.

In Dundee, £105,000 could get you this two-bedroom flat, on sale via Mcewan Fraser Legal.

It comes as a fresh report declares that becoming a first-time buyer is ‘possibly the most expensive it has been over at least the last 70 years’.

The Building Societies Association (BSA) points to two major obstacles to home ownership: the cost of buying a home and the cost of owning one. Although saving a big enough deposit has been a barrier for some time, recent interest rate rises have led to mortgage repayments being the biggest challenge, it says.

Little wonder then that 59% of parents worry about their children’s chances of buying a home in the future, according to Homeowners Alliance. Its research found that half of all parents wish they could help their children get onto the housing ladder. And one in four feel guilty that they can’t provide more support.

This two-bedroom terraced house in Bradford is on sale for £105,000 via Bronte Estate Agents.

But David Hannah, group chairman of Cornerstone Tax, has some cheer in store.

‘Speculated interest rate cuts and the first recorded drop in house prices in six months, may suggest that affordability issues could subside towards the end of the year and early 2025,’ he explains.

‘So, while the road ahead may seem uncertain, it’s important to remember that even in the face of a challenging market, the property market can adapt and rebound, offering opportunities for those who remain vigilant and strategic.’

*This is based on a first-time buyer having a 20% deposit and a 35-year mortgage on a five-year fixed rate of 4.84%.

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