First time buyers hit hardest in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire's first time buyers face a tougher struggle than most

Hertfordshire's first time buyers face a tougher struggle than most - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getting on the property ladder in St Albans and Harpenden is no easy task – and it’s only getting harder.

Property prices for first time buyers in Hertfordshire have risen by 47 per cent over the last four years, tied with Berkshire as the highest increases in England.

The average home bought by a first time buyer in Hertfordshire now costs £305,043 – an increase of £97,251 on the 2012 average of £207,792.

Even Greater London can’t compete with this increase, despite the most expensive houses in the country being located in the capital – the average increase in the Greater London area was 46 per cent, up to £435,897 from £298,890.

Online estate agent eMoov used Land Registry data to look at first-time buyer house prices across every county in England, as well as every London borough. They then calculated the increase in value since 2012.

The research revealed that first time buyers are now paying an average of £196,000 for their first home across England – a figure that has increased by £42,451 (28 per cent) in the past four years.

County Durham offers first time buyers the most affordable first step on the ladder, at just £86,116 – a tiny 3 per cent rise since 2012.

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Not surprisingly, it’s Surrey (£323,973), Berkshire (£292,227), Oxfordshire (£286,962) and Buckinghamshire (£286,511) that join Hertfordshire as the most expensive places for a first time buyer to purchase property outside London.

At £254,600, Barking and Dagenham offers the most affordable options for London’s first time buyers, while Kensington and Chelsea (£1.1m) is the priciest place to buy.

Russell Quirk, Founder & CEO of eMoov, said: “First time buyers are paying almost as much as second and third steppers in actual price terms yet the percentage increase in first-time buyer properties is tracking at even greater than regular house prices.

“It really does highlight the issue facing the nation’s next generation of aspirational homeowners.

“How the government expect anyone to get on in life when the first hurdle they face is all but unobtainable to begin with is beyond me, especially in London. Over 90 per cent of the capital’s boroughs have seen the price paid by first-time buyers increase by more than £100,000 in just four or so short years.

“We must address this issue and find a way to bring homeownership back in reach of the average homebuyers, not just in London, or the surrounding commuter counties, but to the whole of England.”