Country houses for sale

Best first time buyer locations

A first-time buyer in London will get best value for money in Dulwich, while commuting from the country could make better financial sense instead of purchasing a home in the capital, says a new study.

A typical one-bedroom property starts at £235,000 (£300 a square foot and upwards) in the Dulwich area, according to figures from Hamptons International.

However, with the average price of a three-bed flat in London at about £815,000, you can add less than £200,000 and get a five-bed country house with a garden in many south east commuter towns.

Across all property types ranging from one-bedroom flats to five-bed detached homes, the highest yields are in Islington (5.43%), Kensington (5.19%) and the City (5.08%).

Outside London, a first-time buyer would be advised to consider places like Brackley (£109,950), Marlborough (£140,000), or Fleet (£145,000). Similarly, Banbury, Stroud and Brackley all offer homes for under £200 a square foot.

For investors or landlords hoping to top up their portfolios, the strongest yields outside the capital come from smaller one and two-bed homes. The highest yields are to be found in Brighton (4.32%), Hove (4.22%) and St Albans (4.02%).

‘In the context of the current market, this research provides an optimistic signal for long-term buy-to-let investors hungry to build a property portfolio. Despite the increase in the cost of capital, rental levels continue to escalate above house price inflation, pushing yields higher,’ says Rob Bruce, research manager at Hamptons International.