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New figures from Halifax reveal that less than one third (32%) of local authority districts in the UK have house prices which are affordable to a first-time buyer on average earnings.
House prices are deemed to be affordable if they cost up to four times earnings.
- 100% of local authority districts in London, the South East, the South West and the East of England were found to be unaffordable for first-time buyers in 2013.
- In Scotland, 46% of local authority districts were found to be affordable and in Wales, 75% of districts were affordable.
- Yorkshire and the Humber was found to be the region with the biggest percentage of local which were affordable to first-time buyers, at 76
- In the North East, 69% of districts were found to be affordable, with 70% in the North West, in the East Midlands the figure was 52% and in the West Midlands just 13% of districts were affordable.
The number of first-time buyers grew by around one fifth in 2013, marking the strongest annual increase in more than a decade, new figures show.
There were around 265,000 first-time buyers in the UK in 2013, up 22% from an estimated 218,000 in 2012, according to Halifax, which used a combination of Council of Mortgage Lenders' figures and its own to make its findings.
Halifax said its figures to also showed how ultra-low interest rates have helped prove mortgage affordability in recent years.
The proportion of disposable earnings devoted to mortgage payments by a first-time buyer stood at 30% in the last three months of 2013, compared with a peak of 50% in the summer of 2007.