First-time buyers are once again increasing their share in the UK mortgage market. This means that more people are taking advantage of the rise in mortgage approvals right now – even those with small deposits – making the competition for small homes and flats that little bit hotter.
If you're looking for your first apartment, here's a short list of some of the best places in the country to buy right now, and why they're good investment spots.
For city slickers, Scotland’s capital is top of the pile. Data crunched by location specialist CACI declared Edinburgh the best place to live in the UK. This is down to relatively affordable prices, high employment levels and great internet connectivity. Making up the rest of the top five are Crewe, Harrogate, Devizes and Aberdeen. On the other hand, few areas in the South East made the list due to low affordability levels. In contrast, Scotland is increasingly offering some of the best buys in the country.
If you need to keep an eye on those property price tags, this southern city could be a great find. It recently topped a Post Office list of most affordable areas in the country for first-time buyers. With annual price growth of 5.9% in the year to August 2017, it’s also among the fastest rising areas for value in the UK too. Throw in the added potential of a seaside property, not to mention renting out rooms to holidaymakers, and you have a great place to invest.
There are thousands of idyllic, quintessentially English properties scattered across the heart of England. This year, the East Midlands has shown that its cities equally offer plenty of flats in investment areas, with housing costs rising faster here than anywhere else in the UK. Property experts are predicting a continued exodus from the capital that will benefit the Midlands even more over the next year, as far west as Birmingham and Nottingham.
If you’re a die-hard Londoner, your best option for value is to shy away from areas pumped with money from the 'Crossrail effect' and zones flooded with buyers betting on expansion of the Night Tube. Camberwell is a great choice thanks to its excellent bus links and its Zone 2 spot. To top it off, its starter flats showed healthy growth of around 21% last year, with headroom for more to come.