First-Time buyers across the UK are struggling to afford their first home.This is an ongoing issue. Just how bad is the situation and how does it differ from region to region?

The situation varies from region to region in relation to age and prices. London continues to have the highest overall housing prices, with homes starting from around £410,000. Buyers in Wales and Northern Ireland have the lowest house prices, with average costs at £133,730 and £115,269 respectively.

Saving for deposits

Saving a deposit continues to be a struggle for would be first-time buyers.

The average deposit across the UK is now over £32,000. To buy a house in the great London Region, market newcomers require a deposit in excess of £100,000. This figure means that many would-be homeowners in London are either moving out from the center or have given up their hopes of home ownership in the capital. Renting in London is not without its own pitfalls at the moment either. This is leaving first-time buyers struggling with rent and not having enough capital to buy their own property either.

Due to the higher entry prices, would-be homeowners are taking longer to raise the needed deposit and are taking out longer-term mortgages to help manage the affordability. Many first- time buyers increasingly depend on the help of family, especially parents, to help them to get their first step up onto the property ladder.

Average age of first-time buyers

Another issue with the increasing property prices and the time taken to save the required deposit for housing is that the Average Age of the first-time buyer continues to increase. As the prices of houses continue to climb and the supply of affordable houses lags behind demand, the average age at which individuals and families are able to purchase a home of their own is rising.

The average age of the first-time buyer is now 30 years across the UK. This is up from 29 in 2011. The youngest average first-time buyers can be found in Carlisle and in North Wales. The average first- time buyer in London now stands at 32 whilst the oldest first- time buyers are found in Slough and the London boroughs of Barnet and Ealing at an average age of 34.

The trend upwards appears likely to continue as the first-time buyers continue to struggle to save the required deposit.

It is not all bad news though

There are, however, some silver linings to the current situation. There have been, year on year growth in the number of first-time buyers being approved for loans across the UK in recent years, with 2016 seeing the largest approval rates since 2008.

This has to be taken with a grain of salt, however, as banks are now lending back at the 2008 rates, just before the property bubble burst. The impact of Brexit remains to be seen on the housing market across the UK.