First time buyers priced out of London

17 March 2004
New research shows that even in the cheapest London borough the average first-time buyer would have to borrow almost four times their salary to purchase a home.

The Halifax figures highlight the extent of the difficulties facing first-time buyers, who are generally recommended to borrow 3.5 times their salary to climb on the property ladder.

Yet the figures reveal that first-timers would need to borrow more than this to buy in the unglamorous borough of Barking and Dagenham, while in the most expensive area, Kensington and Chelsea, more than ten times their salary is required.

Chartered surveyor Simon Agace told The Evening Standard: "These figures reveal the stark choices facing London workers aspiring to home ownership.

"They can either borrow unsafely large multiples of their earnings, continue to rent in the hope that prices will fall - or consider leaving London, and perhaps the South- East, altogether."

The figures also reveal that the average salary of a first-time buyer in London is £40,000. Other recent figures suggest that their average age has jumped from 32 in 2002 to 35 in 2003.