Cost of buying a first home up 200%

17 April 2008

The cost of buying a first home in England is 200% more expensive than 10 years ago making it even harder for people to get a foot on the ladder.

Figures from homeless charity Shelter show the average first-time property price has rocketed from £52,674 in 1998 to £159,494 today, with house price to income ratios doubling from 1.72 to 3.4.

In London the average first-time buyer property now costs £260,000, an increase of 250% over 10 years. 

The news will be a further blow to first-time buyers, many of whom not only face the huge cost of a house but also the increasing difficulty of securing a mortgage.

House purchase loans that allowed buyers to borrow between 100% and 125% of a property’s value have now disappeared from the market, leaving people with little choice but to save up for at least a 5% deposit.

However, even if they are able to put down a deposit the interest rate they are likely to have to pay could stretch their budgets to the limit.

According to Shelter, while the average weekly income of working households is around £900, the average monthly mortgage payment has increased 172% over the past decade to £827.8.

Shelter chief executive Adam Sampson said: “Despite falling house prices, many lenders are increasing their mortgage rates, making an already desperate situation worse.”

How to overcome the homeownership hurdle.

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