First Time Buyers Need to Earn Over £50k to Get on Property Ladder


June 2019

First Time Buyers Need to Earn Over £50k to Get on Property Ladder

First time buyers in the UK need to be earning £54,400 on average to purchase their first home, according to Zoopla.

The latest research from Zoopla analysed house prices in 20 of the UK’s largest cities, which make up around a third of all housing supply in the country. It found that there is a huge range of average incomes needed to buy a home, from £26,100 in Liverpool up to £84,000 in London.

The average of £54,400 for all 20 cities is up 9% since 2016, when a first-time buyer would have needed an average income of £49,900 to purchase a city home in the UK. In London however, the average earnings needed to buy a home has fallen by £3,250 over the last three years. House price growth in London has been subdued in recent months, with a 1.4% annual rise recorded in April, down from a 1.6% year-on-year rise in March.

According to Zoopla, the average price of a home in the UK is currently £219,000. However, the average house price across the 20 cities involved in the study is slightly higher at £256,000, while the average price of a home in the capital is a whopping £482,000.

Outside of London, the cities that require the highest average annual income were the university towns of Cambridge and Oxford, where first time buyers need a salary of £72,000 and £69,000 respectively to get on the housing ladder.

“First time buyers are an important group accounting for more than one in three sales,” said Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla. “While the average household income to buy a typical home across UK cities has grown 9% since 2016, weaker price growth and recent price falls have led to a 5% reduction in the income to buy across the most expensive cities. It will come as a modest relief for would-be buyers although the income to purchase still remains relatively high. While it is a factor behind weaker house price growth it supports underlying demand for rental homes.

“Affordability remains attractive in many regional cities where house prices have not registered the gains seen in south eastern England. Liverpool has the lowest income required to buy and has the highest rate of price growth at 5%. We expect prices to continue to increase in cities where housing is in reach of those on average incomes.”

This is how much you will need to earn on average to buy a home in these 20 UK cities:

City Average Necessary Income Change Since 2016
London £84,000 -4%
Cambridge £72,000 -5%
Oxford £68,800 -3%
Bournemouth £62,300 +13%
Bristol £59,500 +12%
Portsmouth £50,700 +12%
Edinburgh £48,700 +17%
Southampton £48,500 +10%
Cardiff £44,600 +14%
Leicester £38,000 +20%
Manchester £36,200 +19%
Leeds £35,500 +13%
Birmingham £35,200 +19%
Aberdeen £33,700 -12%
Nottingham £32,900 +18%
Sheffield £29,500 +14%
Belfast £28,800 +13%
Newcastle £27,200 +7%
Glasgow £26,600 +14%
Liverpool £26,100 +14%