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Affordable Houses in the North Add to Appeal of Manchester Property

First-time buyers could be finding a great deal of potential in Manchester property, if the latest figures from the Halifax are anything to go buy.

The mortgage lender’s First-Time Buyer Review said that the affordability of residential properties is the highest it has been for eight years, with 95 per cent of the most affordable local authority areas located in the north of the country. The review noted that the average cost of a first property is now “lower than the price someone on average earnings in the area can pay based on the historical average house price to income ratio,” making Manchester property more affordable than was previously the case for people on average incomes.

The Halifax review bases its analysis on figures gleaned from its own national database, the Office for National Statistics, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Council of Mortgage Lenders. It highlights the ongoing “north-south divide”, pointing out that just 5 per cent of affordable properties for first-time buyers can be found in the south of England, making Manchester property all the more appealing – the Manchester area is a cosmopolitan one, with something for everyone and easily able to compete with the best that the south has to offer.

Halifax’s chief housing economist commented that “housing affordability for those looking to get onto the property ladder for the first time has improved significantly over recent years, largely as a consequence of the decline in house prices since 2007.”

He added: “Nevertheless, conditions for potential first-time buyers remain tough. Difficulties raising the necessary deposit and concerns over the economic climate are preventing many from entering the market.”

Halifax went on to say that this year saw some 187,000 first-time buyers, which represented the lowest yearly total since records began in 1974, and a 7 per cent fall compared to 2010. Hopefully things will be picking up in 2012, if the affordability of Manchester property and homes in other regions across the north continues to increase.