Affordable living: where should first-time buyers look?

The current news cycle seems to relay the same narrative: less people – in particular ‘Millennials’ – are getting onto the property ladder as easily as previous generations were able to. Between 2016 and 2018 alone, housing prices rose by 7%.

The affordability of housing, coupled with increasing rent prices that stifle the ability to save for a deposit, means first-time buyers are struggling to find housing within their budget. First-time buyers appear to be looking away from densely populated areas such as London with its high cost of living and skyrocketing house pricing. As a result, London has seen 550,000 more Britons leave the capital in the last ten years than have moved to the city.

40% of young people claim they are unable to afford a home in their area and so are faced with few options: live with family, rent, or move away from home. We have compiled a list of the most affordable housing spots around Monmouthshire, South Herefordshire and West Gloucestershire that fall below the national average housing price of £232,710. These are the areas that first-time buyers should be considering when trying to get onto the property ladder:

Newport: £190,871

Whilst historically Newport has not been at the top of the list for first-time buyers looking to settle down, recent regenerations in the city have established Newport as an up-and-comer. The newly established Friars Walk complex boasts an abundance of restaurants and shops, plus a cinema and bowling alley. This, coupled with it being the cheapest area in the catchment to buy a property means it is an ideal choice when looking for a first home. More affordable than buying a home in Cardiff – the average price for a home in the city standing at £248,492 – this smaller city easily rivals the large capital. From cheaper housing to its recent developments, Newport also sits on a prime location. Laying right on the M4 corridor, this provides the area with ease of access to many major cities including Cardiff (25 minutes), Bath (60 minutes) and Bristol (40 minutes), making it the perfect location for commuters

affordable livingHereford: £217,012

This compact city, laying on the River Wye, is bursting with stunning architecture and scenery. A 90-minute drive to the bustling cities of Birmingham and Cardiff, and only 42 miles to Bristol, Hereford is an ideal place for those who want a quieter lifestyle but with ease of access to the city. The area brings together both modern and rural living and is set to open the doors to a brand-new university building.The technology and engineering school is set to welcome its first graduates in 2020 which will bring a refreshing wave of young people to the city and helping to stimulate the economy from this new population.


Ross-on-Wye: £214,647

The quaint town of Ross-on-Wye also falls below the national average of housing prices in the UK. Boasting stunning landscapes, the town is an hour drive to the centre of Cardiff and a 50-minute drive to Worcester. Long considered to be the place British tourism was founded, it’s easy to see why. Ross-on- Wye has managed to maintain a charm that British towns have vastly lost: independent stores on the high street. Whilst holding onto its past charisma, it is in the middle of developing a new enterprise park which will see the creation of roughly 1,000 jobs in the area

New developments

If, as a first-time buyer, you are seeking brand new property then you should expect to pay a little higher than the national average. Many people turn to new developments as it allows you to start from scratch and often giving you the freedom to design a home exactly how you desire. According to Which?, there are several other advantages to turning to a new build home. Advantages such as less demand for maintenance work, cheaper energy bills and the ability to use help to buy are all appealing factors when considering the kind of home you want to invest in. Developers also often install new homes with amenities such as dishwashers and washing machines which are included in the price, meaning you can surpass this extra hassle and hidden costs. However, the biggest sway towards a new home is that they come chain-free, alleviating one of the greatest stresses’ buyers can encounter when house hunting.

If a new development is something you are considering and it fits your budget, Redrow are developing a range of stunning homes in Lydney, Gloucestershire. The homes start just above the national average at £283,995 for a three-bedroom home and Help to Buy is available on all their properties. Settled between the motorway and the stunning scenery of the Forest of Dean, the development provides ease of access to Bristol with a mere 40-minute drive to the city – perfect for commuters who want to be based away from the noise.