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The Best & Worst Places For Graduates To Buy Property

June 14th, 2019

University graduates considering buying a house after they’ve left higher education for good may well find the latest piece of research from price comparison site comparethemarket.com of interest, revealing the best and worst places around the UK for homeownership.

The study took into account numerous factors when compiling the list of towns and cities, including salaries, house prices, employment rates, graduate jobs, parks, pubs and so on, with each location around the UK ranked to reveal just which part of the country is the best option for any graduates househunting at the moment.

The top five was revealed as being Reading, Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London – which may well help you in your decisions when applying for jobs and working out where you’d most like to live.

You might want to steer clear of Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Bradford and Kingston upon Hull, however, since these made up the bottom five. Nottingham came last in the list as it had the lowest median salary and the lowest employment rate percentage.

In terms of house prices, a very important factor for graduates to bear in mind, the highest average property prices in the UK were found in London (£723,694), Brighton (£404,644), Reading (£363,731), Bristol (£310,938) and Bournemouth (£284,272).

The cheapest average house prices, meanwhile, were found in Bradford (£133,437), Kingston upon Hull (£137,774), Stoke-on-Trent (£139,586), Liverpool (£163,630) and Bolton (£163,879).

Of course, one of the biggest concerns for recent graduates (as well as other homeowners) is the median salary of the place they’re moving to, since you’ll want to be able to afford your mortgage repayments once you’ve taken that all-important first step onto the property ladder.

The five locations around the UK with the highest median salaries were London, Reading, Derby, Edinburgh and Bournemouth, so it might well be worth seeing what jobs are available in these areas and applying for any suitable positions. Our Beaconsfield office in particular is well-situated for London commuters, with fast trains to central London taking just over 20 minutes. 

However, no doubt there are many graduates out there keen to start their own companies and interestingly, some cities are better suited to entrepreneurialism than others, with Manchester, London, Aberdeen, Luton and Liverpool seeing the highest number of startups per 10,000 people. It could prove fruitful to have a look at these locations and see just why they’re proving so popular with new business owners at the moment.

Even armed with all this knowledge, it is very difficult for young people to get on the property ladder these days – but with Brexit on the horizon and the very real possibility that house prices could fall further once we leave the EU in October, buying your first house in 2019 could well make excellent financial sense.

Firstly, you’ll need to save up enough for a deposit, which you could do using a lifetime or help to buy ISA, which will see the government give you bonus funds of up to 25 per cent when it does come time for you to buy a house. Note that help to buy ISAs will be withdrawn in November this year, after which point they won’t be available to new savers, so if you do have plans to save in this way, it would be advisable to move quickly.

Once you’ve got your deposit sorted, you can start looking into mortgages, but remember that your credit history will affect the amount you’re able to borrow. It might be worth talking to a professional mortgage broker to help you navigate the market.

Now that you’ve sorted out all the above, you can start thinking about where you’d like to live and work. If you don’t already live where you’d like to, it would perhaps be wise to go to the town or city and stay there for a couple of days so you can get a feel for the place and see if you like it as much as you think you will.

From there, you can start the fun of house-hunting! Heading to the internet should perhaps be your first port of call, with sites like Zoopla and Rightmove excellent places to start. Make sure you go on viewings as well as looking at properties online as well, so you can really get a sense of what the properties within your budget are like.

Once you’ve found the property of your dreams, you can put an offer in – which is very exciting but can also be quite daunting for people who’ve never done it before.

Ask the estate agent as many probing questions as you can, such as how long the owner has lived at the property, why they’re selling, how long the property has been on the market and whether the current owner has found somewhere else to move to yet.

Factors like transport links, school catchment areas, local infrastructure plans, development applications and crime rates will all have an impact on the value of the property, as well as the house itself.

In a competitive property market, homes are purchased very quickly and buyers are often outbid by other parties once their offer has been accepted (known as gazumping). If you know there are numerous buyers interested in the house you like, offering the full asking price (or even above it) could see you successful in your purchasing plans.

But don’t be afraid to offer below the asking price, however, and it can be worth doing so if you know a similar house recently sold at a lower price, if there’s a lot of work that needs doing, or if the seller has a reason to complete the transaction as soon as they can.

If you need the help of solicitors in Beaconsfield to see you achieve your dream of homeownership this year, get in touch with the team here at Lennons today to see what we can do for you. We also have offices in Chesham and Amersham. Talk to us today on 01494 773377 or email hello@lennonssolicitors.co.uk 

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