Getting a foot on the house buying ladder

For sale: Sign of the times as first-time mortgages get easier for young people in Lancashire
For sale: Sign of the times as first-time mortgages get easier for young people in Lancashire
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Couples looking to get a foot on the property ladder should head for Preston, according to a new report.

The city is one of the easiest places in the North West for first-time buyers to get a home, says the National Housing Federation.

It is getting easier – and Preston has so much choice in housing

And a local estate agent has encouraged potential new buyers to come and see what we the area has to offer as mortgage opportunities continue to improve after the dark days of the recession.

“It is getting easier – and Preston has so much choice in housing,” said Nick Reid, senior negotiator for Reeds Rains in the city centre.

An NHF survey shows the average house price in Preston is amongst the lowest in the region at £82,000. Earnings are also some of the lowest in the North West, with first-time buyers having to borrow around eight times their annual income to afford a home.

Eden in Cumbria works out as the most difficult for young people to afford a house, with average property prices being 11.4 per cent followed by South Lakeland (11.2) and then Trafford (10.9). Fylde (10.6) isn’t far behind in terms of average wages, house prices and limited ability to save for a deposit colliding to price out would-be homeowners. The Ribble Valley (10.1) is more difficult than some parts of rural Cheshire. South Ribble (8.7), Chorley (8.5) and Lancaster (8.3) are all rated mid-table.

The NHF found that 87 per cent 18-34-year-olds say it is difficult for their generation to get on the housing ladder in Britain.

“If the new Government doesn’t urgently address the chronic shortage of housing, young people and families will continue to be locked out of ever owning a home in future,” said Katie Teasdale of the NHF. “Younger people in the North West, especially those whose parents can’t help financially, can find themselves stuck living in their childhood bedrooms or paying high private rents that make it almost impossible to find a home that is genuinely affordable.”

Mr Reid said: “It is still more difficult than it was 10 years ago, but over the last couple of years it has been improving. The help-to-buy scheme has certainly helped some people get that first foot on the ladder.”