First-time buyers ‘need to earn at least £53,000 to buy home in a major city’

First-time buyers can expect to need an income of at least £53,000 to get on the property ladder in one of the UK’s major cities, a study has found.

This is £8,000 or 18% more than three years ago, with a £45,000 income typically needed in 2015, according to property analysts Hometrack, looking across the UK’s 20 biggest cities.

The findings reflect how sharply house price growth has outstripped wage increases over the past three years, Hometrack said.

In some cities where house prices have increased particularly strongly in recent years the average earnings needed have ballooned by nearly a quarter since 2015, according to Hometrack’s calculations.

It found buyers in Manchester or Bristol now need an income 24% higher than they did three years ago, while those in Birmingham, Nottingham or Leicester now need an income which is 23% higher.

In some cities, the income needed is lower than it was three years ago, falling slightly in Oxford and Cambridge and more sharply in Aberdeen, which has seen some strong house price falls.

House prices in Aberdeen have fallen by 17% to reach £164,800 on average over the past three years, the report said.

In London, first-time buyers were found to need an average income of £84,250 – the highest amount in the study – increasing by 1% since 2015.

The calculations assumed buyers would be taking out a repayment mortgage over a 30-year term, would not be borrowing more than four times their income and that they would be spending up to 30% of their gross income on mortgage costs.

Hometrack also used average mortgage interest rates and deposit sizes put down by first-time buyers using figures from UK Finance to make the findings.

Richard Donnell, insight director at Hometrack, said: “Cities like London and Cambridge require the highest incomes to buy a home and as a result they are registering flat to falling prices.

“Meanwhile, cities like Bristol and Bournemouth are starting to register slower growth as affordability pressures increase.

“Higher prices and a further drift upwards in mortgage rates means that these affordability pressures will continue to steadily build. However, there are many cities where affordability remains attractive and prices are expected to continue their upward trend.”

Here are the incomes first-time buyers typically need to get on the property ladder, according to Hometrack, with the percentage change compared with 2015:

– London, £84,250, 1%

– Cambridge, £74,000, minus 3%

– Oxford, £69,750, minus 1%

– Bournemouth, £61,311, 21%

– Bristol, £58,826, 24%

– Portsmouth, £50,202, 21%

– Edinburgh, £48,277, 18%

– Southampton, £47,871, 18%

– Cardiff, £43,043, 18%

– Leicester, £36,317, 23%

– Manchester, £34,770, 24%

– Leeds, £34,583, 19%

– Aberdeen, £34,262, minus 14%

– Birmingham, £33,619, 23%

– Nottingham, £31,904, 23%

– Sheffield, £28,530, 15%

– Belfast, £27,222, 13%

– Newcastle, £27,015, 10%

– Glasgow, £25,607, 14%

– Liverpool, £24,731, 14%

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “This Government is committed to helping more people get on the housing ladder and last year saw the highest number of first-time buyers for over a decade.

“Through our Help to Buy scheme and the cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers, we are helping restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation.”