Bath best for first-time buyers says Moneysupermarket

By Ben Carey on 14 March, 2019


MoneySuperMarket has announced the results of its annual First-Time Buyer Index, revealing that Bath is the best place for those looking to get on the property ladder.

The report ranks 35 cities against six important factors for first-time buyers, looking at job opportunities, average salary, disposable income, rate of contents theft and average cost of a one-bedroom property.

While Bath has moved from second to first place over the last year, due in part to an improvement in job opportunities, London remains in last place thanks to high property prices and a higher-than-average rate of contents theft.

The top five cities for first-time buyers in 2019 are:

  1. Bath – Bath currently holds the highest score for jobs per capita (13.7 per 100) and retains its position as one of the best cities for disposable income, contributing to it moving into first place. 
  2. Wolverhampton – Despite an increase in the average cost of a one-bedroom property over the course of the year, disposable incomes and average salaries have risen in Wolverhampton, putting it in second place.  
  3. Chester – Chester’s rise in the rankings is thanks to a drop in the contents theft rate compared to last year, combined with affordable housing. The average cost of a one-bedroom property now sits at £106,050, well below the national average of £131,830.
  4. Aberdeen – In fourth place, Aberdeen ranks 16 places ahead of its Scottish neighbour Glasgow. With a relatively low contents theft rate, higher than average disposable income, and good property prices, Aberdeen is a great option for first-time buyers who can get a one-bedroom property for an average of £93,600.
  5. Derby – Despite having the highest rate of contents theft amongst the top five locations, Derby’s low property prices and relatively high disposable income push it into the top five.

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, said, “For many, buying your first property is one of life’s great milestones and can be incredibly exciting.

“However, as is the case with any financial decision you make, it pays to think carefully about your budget and do your own research before committing to anything. As well as looking at house prices in your area of choice, measures such as crime rates and local job opportunities can help inform your decision and ensure you’re in the location best suited to you.

“Despite uncertain political times, it’s refreshing to see that the first-time buyer market has continued to grow in the UK, rising 1.9% from 2017 to 2018. This is in part thanks to successful Government schemes such as Help to Buy. If buyers are willing to be flexible, they can stand a better chance of buying somewhere they can afford, without sacrificing a good standard of living. Shopping around for the best mortgage is also crucial to make sure you’re on a plan that works for you.”