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Most affordable places for first-time buyers revealed

Whitehaven Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Whitehaven in Cumbria is one of the most affordable towns for first-time buyers

The most affordable - and the least affordable - places for first-time buyers have been revealed by the UK's largest mortgage lender, the Halifax.

Compared to local earnings, the cheapest places to buy are mostly in western Scotland and northern England.

The most expensive are all in London.

East Dunbartonshire, on the northern fringes of Glasgow, is the most-affordable place in the UK. On average, house prices here are just 2.6 times local annual earnings.

By contrast, the least-affordable place is Brent in north London, where house prices are on average 12.5 times local earnings.

The Halifax data also shows that first-time buyers face the highest prices in London, paying £384,000 on average, compared to just £110,00 in Northern Ireland.

Most affordable places for first-time buyers
District Region House prices v. earnings ratio
East Dunbartonshire West of Scotland 2.6x
Copeland (West Cumbria) North West England 2.9x
East Renfrewshire West of Scotland 3x
West Dunbartonshire West of Scotland 3.1x
Stirling Central Scotland 3.1x
Pendle North West England 3.2x
Blaenau Gwent South Wales 3.3x
North Lanarkshire Central Scotland 3.3x
Northumberland North East England 3.3x
Mid and East Antrim Northern Ireland 3.4x
Source: Halifax/ ONS

The number of people buying houses or flats for the first time is now on the increase, according to the Halifax.

Its figures show that 154,200 buyers were successful in the first half of 2016, compared to 140,500 in the same period the previous year - a 10% rise.

However, the longer-term picture is not so rosy.

Government figures released earlier this week show that the number of first-time buyers in England has fallen by a third in the past decade.

The Halifax said the government's Help to Buy scheme, launched in April 2013, would have helped to boost first-time buys.

Least affordable places for first-time buyers
District Region House prices v. earnings ratio
Brent North London 12.5x
Hackney East London 12x
Haringey North London 11.6x
Hammersmith and Fulham West London 11.1x
Waltham Forest North East London 10.9x
Lambeth South London 10.8x
Harrow North West London 10.6x
Ealing West London 10.5x
Newham East London 10.2x
Islington North London 10.2x
Source: Halifax/ONS

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