Oxford named the hardest place to buy a home in Britain for first time buyers

Oxford is the toughest town for first time buyers to get a foot on the UK property ladder, taking over from Brighton as the country’s premium property hotspot. Bradford & Hull, on the other hand, proved the most affordable, according to new analysis by job search engine Adzuna.co.uk.

The research shows that nearly three quarters (72%) of homes in Bradford fall within financial reach for first-time buyers on average local incomes. London, High Wycombe, Reading and Brighton are amongst the most unaffordable places to purchase first properties as wages stagnate and property prices soar across Britain. 

Replacing Brighton as the nation’s premier property hotspot since the 2014 ranking, Oxford has seen average property prices soar by an amazing 19% in the last two years, while average salaries in the town rose just 2.9%. Brighton, on the other hand, now ranks the 5th least affordable city for first time buyers. At the more affordable end of the market, Bradford has overtaken Belfast as the most attractive city for first time buyers, while Hull remains a solid choice for value-seekers, ranking 2nd most affordable city in both 2014 and 2016.

Adzuna calculates the affordability of areas by looking at average salaries for the top 50 cities in the UK using their comprehensive search index of over 1 million job ads. This data is compared to property asking prices and typical mortgage multiples for both single applicants and couples across the UK to produce an “Affordability Index” for house hunters.

The study reveals that first-time buyers should head to Northern locations like Bradford, Hull and Sunderland, where average property prices under £150,000 are only 2.6 times average earnings for the area. Bargain hunters should also set their sights on Midlands cities like Birmingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent.

Oxford, High Wycombe and Reading join London as the most unaffordable towns and cities in the UK for first-time purchasers. A typical home in Oxford now sells for almost 8 times the average Oxford couple’s earnings, at over £500,000.

Boasting luxury homes valued at up to £50 million, London has seen soaring property prices in the last 12 months, with house values rising 17% year on year. With advertised wages in the capital falling 2.9% compared to last year, properties in London have become increasingly unaffordable for locals with a staggering 92% of homes in the capital completely out of financial reach.

Doug Monro, Co-Founder of Adzuna, said “It’s fascinating to get such a clear view of the differences in home affordability across the UK by comparing average advertised salaries against property prices in key towns and cities. Despite government schemes like ‘Help to Buy’ really taking off, it’s clear that many parts of the country are on the verge of an affordability crisis, with young, first time buyers being almost completely priced out of the market.”