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The Most Affordable City for FTBs
Bradford is not just more affordable than other key players in the Northern Powerhouse. For first-time buyers, Bradford is the cheapest place to buy a house in the UK – as a whole.
Despite mortgage rates and property prices recently reaching a record high, it is still cheaper in most areas for a first-time buyer to pay off a mortgage than monthly rent. This is why the property market has seen a 6% increase in first-time buyer demand since the same period in 2019’s pre-pandemic property market.
Bradford has some of the cheapest houses in the UK. The average for house prices in Bradford is £104,643 for a first-time buyer. To put that into perspective, the average asking price in the UK for a similar property is £225,000. For first-time buyers to save for a 10% deposit, they would need to save £22,500. As rent takes up an average of 42% of their annual income, saving this kind of money seems impossible.
Looking at £104,643 as a mortgage with a 10% deposit (based on the current best buy mortgage rate of 4.45%), repayments of a £94,179 loan come to £521 per month. This is over £100 cheaper than the average rent and makes saving for a deposit far more achievable. For this reason alone, Bradford is the best city for first-time home buyers, whether living or letting.
The Cost of Living in Bradford
Even with some of the cheapest houses in the UK, the cost of living in Bradford is equally low. Bradford’s average salary is £407 per week with the average weekly rent equalling £113.30. Rent makes up 27.8% of Bradfordians’ income compared to London’s 53.6%.
For those who struggle more with the cost of living in Bradford, the city’s council is receiving a grant for 2023-24 to help residents in need over winter. The Bradford Household Support Fund will see a total of £524 million to aid the population, alongside an additional £3.2 million for voluntary and community organisations which focus on food provision. Previously, amid the cost-of-living crisis in December, the grant offered those on a lower income and a council tax reduction to receive £65 monthly payments as well as £20 per child. Now, the Bradford Household Support Fund is looking to increase the payments to £110 and £25 per household.
With house prices in Bradford being so low, and the support of the Bradford Household Support Fund, this city must be one of the best places to live in West Yorkshire – and seen as the cheapest place to live in the UK.
Is Bradford a Good Place to Live?
Being described as a ‘modern cosmopolitan city with a thousand stories to tell’, is there any wonder why it is the UK’s City of Culture for 2025? People see it, too. With a current Bradford population of 546,400, a 4.6% growth from the 2011 census, this number is an impressive 13.8% increase from the population in 2002. What is more, 29% of Bradford’s population are young people below the age of 20. In part due to the success of the University of Bradford, this figure is ahead of the UK’s average of 21%.
Bradford is conveniently located just a 30-minute commute to Leeds City Centre. When it comes to what to do in Bradford, though, residents are not limited. From the IMAX and the Alhambra Theatre to the Broadway Shopping Centre and the National Science & Media Museum. The city also offers an array of food from an array of cultures and fantastic business giants. Morrisons’ headquarters is home in Bradford and the biggest employer of the city alongside the University of Bradford.
With the vast funding for regeneration projects in the city, the Bradford population will grow. This increase will be from desirability. From transport improvements and City Village to office spaces like One City Park. Employment and residency will rise as Bradford attractions, residential areas, and workspaces continue to improve.
It is without doubt: Bradford is one of the best places to live in Yorkshire for first-time buyers.
Advice for First-Time Buyers
Seen as the cheapest place to buy a house in the UK, Bradford is the best city for first-time home buyers.
With the introduction of 100% mortgages and Help to Buy 2.0 in the pipeline, choosing Bradford can make buying a first home even more affordable. As a location, too, Bradford is perfect. Convenience is key when it comes to amenities and connectivity. Such is seen in Bradford attractions and the city’s direct routes to both Leeds and Manchester.
However, those not wanting to settle here can still take advantage of the low house prices in Bradford. First-time buyers can invest in Bradford property rather than buying to live. While buy-to-let properties do not benefit from 100% mortgages and instead require a 25% deposit, such a deposit will be more affordable than in other regions. Investing in a smaller property can still achieve high yields in return. This way, first-time buyers can use the passive income from their investment to work towards a deposit for their dream house.
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