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The UK's cheapest cities for first-time buyers

2 mins read
by Lisa-Marie Voneshen
Last updated Thursday, February 15, 2024

This article reveals the cheapest cities for first-time buyers and where paying a mortgage is significantly cheaper than renting.

Are you looking to buy your first home? We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 cheapest places to buy a house in the UK.

Over the past year, it’s become a lot more expensive for homeowners, whether it’s buying a property or remortgaging.

After years of low mortgage rates, the fallout from the mini-Budget last year caused rates to soar.

While mortgage rates are now slowly falling, they are still historically high, as the Bank of England has hiked the base rate multiple times this year. 

Sadly, first-time buyers with a 15% deposit typically pay nearly £200 more per month compared to last year due to higher mortgage rates and record asking prices, according to data from Rightmove.

But if you’re not put off by the volatile housing market, where are the cheapest cities to buy your first property? And can you pay less for your mortgage compared to renting?

Rightmove has analysed the monthly mortgage payment for a typical first-time buyer property with at least two bedrooms and the equivalent rent in cities in Great Britain to find out.

This data assumes that the buyer takes out a five-year fixed-rate loan with a 10% deposit at a rate of 4.45% spread over 25 years.

While mortgage rates have fallen since this data was published in May, it can provide insight into the most affordable cities. 

The cheapest cities for first-time buyers

Bradford is the cheapest city for first-time buyers, where the average asking price is £104,643, with an average payment of £521 per month.

On average, you’ll save £102 a month on mortgage payments compared to renting.

In second place is Carlisle, where the average asking price is £104,784, with average monthly mortgage payments of £522. You can typically save £34 a month with a mortgage compared to renting.

The below table reveals the five cheapest cities and breaks down the average monthly mortgage and rental payments for first-time buyers.

CitiesAverage asking priceAverage monthly mortgage paymentAverage monthly rental payment

Where can first-time buyers make the biggest savings on rent?

If you’re curious about which cities offer the biggest cash savings when you make it onto the housing ladder, you’re in luck.

Rightmove has also revealed the cities where it is significantly cheaper to buy than rent.

Glasgow has an average asking price of £130,947 for first-buyer type properties. You’ll typically pay £652 a month for a mortgage compared to £867 when renting, saving you over £200 each month.

Below reveals the cities where paying a mortgage is significantly cheaper than renting.

CitiesAverage asking priceAverage monthly mortgage paymentAverage monthly rental payment
Newcastle Upon Tyne£135,160£673£841

“For those who are able to save up the deposit, it’s still cheaper to pay off a mortgage as a first-time buyer in many areas than pay the equivalent in monthly rent, despite prices reaching a new record at a national level and mortgage rates rising,” said Tim Bannister, property expert at Rightmove.

If you’re thinking of buying a property, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a financial adviser via Unbiased who may be able to find exclusive deals in a turbulent market.

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Lisa-Marie Voneshen
Lisa-Marie Voneshen is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She is an award-winning journalist with nearly a decade of experience writing and editing content across various areas, including personal finance and investing.