While Brexit is unlikely to have a dramatic long-term effect on the property market, the general uncertainty in the wider economy could result in a short-term softening of house prices, providing ideal conditions for first-time buyers to get on the ladder.
However, with mortgages still requiring high deposits, those wanting to take advantage of current opportunities to buy their first home should look to the places where their money will go the furthest.
Kevin Shaw, national sales director at property specialist Leaders, says: “House prices have risen in almost all parts of the country over the last year, which is great news for sellers but makes the task of buying for the first time more difficult. First-time buyers should therefor identify towns that offer the best value for money in the wider area.
“In many cases, towns that are just a few miles apart offer significantly different market conditions, so each buyer should do their homework to work out how far their budget will go in certain areas.”
Kevin has picked out five towns from across the UK that he believes have the most to offer first-time buyers, based on the value they offer in comparison with the wider region and the opportunity they provide to enjoy an affordable lifestyle.
5) Crawley, West Sussex
Average flat: £196,000
Average terraced house: £268,000
Almost eight per cent of homes in Crawley are owned by first-time buyers. The town offers a more affordable alternative to some of West Sussex's most popular and sought-after commuter spots such as Horsham and East Grinstead, with the average price of a flat below £200,000. Residents have the option of taking home a London wage, with Crawley offering a direct rail link to the capital.
4) Wigan, Greater Manchester
Average flat: £85,000
Average terraced house: £90,000
Located midway between Manchester and Liverpool, the up-and-coming town of Wigan offers fantastic value to property buyers. The average terraced house sells at approximately £90,000, while flats can be snapped up at an even lower price. With easy access to the larger jobs markets of nearby cities, living in Wigan is a smart and affordable choice for first-time buyers.
3) Southampton, Hampshire
Average flat: £152,000
Average terraced house: £212,000
First-time buyers in Southampton enjoy plenty of choice when it comes to picking a home, with a recent study by Post Office Money Mortgages finding 94 per cent of properties in the city are still affordable. This opens up the market to young people and marks Southampton out as a hotspot for first-time buyers, particularly in comparison with other south coast cities such as Brighton where just nine per cent of properties are classed as affordable.
2) Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Average flat: £101,000
Average terraced house: £81,000
With plans to spend almost £500 million on regenerating the city by 2021, Stoke-on-Trent is a shrewd place to set up home. It remains one of the most affordable places to live in the country so first-time buyers can expect to secure a great property for their money. With fast train services to London and Manchester and the first signs of major investment emerging, it is expected to become a vibrant, modern city.
1) Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
Average flat: £150,000
Average terraced house: £218,000
Milton Keynes’ population is booming - up by more than 40,000 since 2001 to approximately 260,000 and expected to hit 300,000 by 2026. With almost one in ten homes in the city owned by first-time buyers, its potential has not gone unnoticed. Milton Keynes’ youthful demographic has resulted in a vibrant and ambitious community and plenty of new housing offers ample opportunity to get on the ladder.
For more information on selling or buying a property in your local area, please contact your nearest Leaders branch.