As lockdown finally starts to ease off, the long Easter weekend is shaping up as the perfect opportunity to start hunting for your first home.
The extended Stamp Duty holiday in England, Northern Ireland and Wales means tax savings are still on offer, and banks are starting to offer an increasing range of mortgages for those with small deposits.
The start of April traditionally marks the start of the spring property season, but we have already seen a record number of buyers on our site this month.
Many sellers usually wait until this time of year to put their properties on the market in the hopes that decent weather, spring bulbs in bloom, and a few days off work will kickstart lots of home searches.
So, that’s why Easter is the perfect time to start your home hunt. Whether you’re looking for a city centre apartment or a village hideaway, we have put together a selection of starter homes we love in every region across Britain for first-time buyers looking to take a first step onto the property ladder.
Average first-time buyer price: £165,174
Monthly asking price change: +2.3%
Annual asking price change: +4.4%
Our first-time buyer find: a one-bedroom cottage
Set on the River Trent the pretty village of Shardlow is a great location for people who want to work in either Nottingham, Derby, or Leicester, and enjoy weekend trips to the Peak District too.
This Grade II-listed one-bedroom cottage has great kerb appeal and its good-sized back garden will make it even more attractive now that we have all experienced extended periods of lockdown.
It’s also in great condition, with a smart kitchen and bathroom, and the rooms are all good sizes, so you can just move in and start enjoying village life.
The property is for sale to interested buyers who can put in an offer above £150,000.
Region: East of England
Average first-time buyer price:£248,133
Monthly asking price change: +1.6%
Annual asking price change: +3%
Our first-time buyer find: a three-bedroom semi-detached house
This three-bedroom Victorian semi would make a smart starter home for a young family, and is just half a mile from the city centre.
The house has plenty of character, with its stained glass front door and living room fireplace, and two of its bedrooms are good-sized doubles.
Adding to the appeal is the cellar – brilliant for storage and with a little effort could be made into a cinema room or a gym. And its long, skinny back garden is just crying out for a side-return extension to enlarge the kitchen and add to its value at the same time.
Average first-time buyer price: £478,169
Monthly asking price change: no change
Annual asking price change: -2.4%
Our first-time buyer find: a two-bedroom period conversion
The only region to see price falls over the past year, but London is still by far the most expensive option for first-time buyers.
However, this two-bedroom period conversion is in a great location just south of Wandsworth Town station (Zone 2) and its cute cafés and boutiques, and within walking distance of the shops and restaurants of Putney, the River Thames, and Wandsworth Common.
What is more, a lot of regeneration money is flooding into the Garratt Road area, which should smarten it up considerably over the next few years. This flat caught our eye because it is within a nice looking period house and comes with a back garden.
If you’re a keen renovator, adding a side-return extension and moving the kitchen to the back of the property would also work wonders – and it needs some cosmetic work.
Region: North East
Average first-time buyer price: £115,322
Monthly asking price change: +2.8%
Annual asking price change: +5.3%
Our first-time buyer find: a one- bedroom, first-floor flat
With its quality schools, 63-acres of Jesmond Dene to explore, and Metro links to the city centre taking just 20 minutes, Jesmond has long been the most sought-after suburb in Newcastle. A recent study by Lloyds TSB found it has the highest concentration of young professionals of anywhere in the North East.
Despite its popularity, first-time buyers can find a foothold in leafy Jesmond. This one-bedroom, first-floor flat is in a great location and the kitchen could easily be freshened up by simply replacing or repainting the cabinet doors, an easy task even for a DIY novice.
Region: North West
Average first-time buyer price: £147,208
Monthly asking price change: -0.3 %
Annual asking price change: +7.2%
Our first-time buyer find: a two-bedroom conversion apartment
If you are a fan of industrial chic conversions then this two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Victoria Mill, Reddish, in Stockport, should tick many boxes. We have seen a big increase in the number of buyers searching for homes in this Manchester satellite suburb with a fabulous country park just five miles north-west of the city centre.
The red-brick building is simply magnificent to look at – and this kind of quality conversion tends to hold its value. The duplex apartment comes with a parking space and use of the communal gardens.
Massive windows flood the open-plan kitchen/living room with light, and both bedrooms are doubles, making it perfect for sharers or those who work from home.
Average first-time buyer price: £123,897
Monthly asking price change: –0.4%
Annual asking price change: +6.1%
Our first-time buyer find: a two-bedroom apartment in the city centre of Dundee
The estuary city of Dundee sits between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and although smaller than its better known neighbours, it is a great looking city with two universities, thriving tech and digital entertainment industries, and even an outpost of the V&A.
This two-bedroom tenement apartment is right in the city centre, a fact which will come into its own as the world starts to right itself. There’s really no work to do here other than perhaps a bit of repainting to put your own stamp on it.
Region: South East
Average first-time buyer price: £263,590
Monthly asking price change: +0.2%
Annual asking price change: +1.4%
Our first-time buyer find: a two-bedroom cottage in Worthing
If you can’t afford Brighton then Worthing, ten miles along the coast, could be an ideal compromise if you want a lifestyle of hanging out on the beach and exploring the South Downs.
This south coast resort is seeing plenty of change from the fabulous new leisure centre, designed by the Stirling Prize winning architects Wilkinson Eyre, and extensive town centre regeneration plans.
Within easy reach of London – trains to Victoria Station take just over one hour and 20 minutes – this Georgian resort has tremendous Regency villas as well as some very pretty fisherman’s cottages at first-time buyer friendly prices.
Right on the high street, this desperately pretty two-bedroom flint-faced cottage has a secluded garden and gorgeous original beams.
With planning permission, the long, thin kitchen has potential to be widened into the side return.
Region: South West
Average first-time buyer price: £220,808
Monthly asking price change: +1.1%
Annual asking price change: +2.8%
Our first-time buyer find: a three-bedroom house in Torquay
With its miles of golden sandy beaches, the Devon town of Torquay is one of its most popular resorts, and this bay-fronted house is only a ten-minute stroll to Anstey’s Cove, one of the prettiest parts of the English Riviera, and a mile from the town centre.
This distance means it is less mobbed by tourists than many parts of town – although don’t expect it to be quiet, particularly as the house is on an A-road.
From a property perspective the house is spacious, with three bedrooms and a courtyard garden. Its interiors could do with a refresh, but the dimension of the rooms are generous and the ceilings are nice and high.
Average first-time buyer price: £152,641
Monthly asking price change: +2.2%
Annual asking price change: +6.5%
Our first-time buyer find: a townhouse divided into a pair of one-bedroom flats
The small market town of Narberth has one of the best high streets in Britain with a fascinating jumble of shops selling everything from organic meat and artisan cheese, to antiques and art.
There are some outstanding independent restaurants too, a weekly market, and we all know Pembrokeshire has endless wonderful beaches to discover.
This little townhouse is an interesting proposition if you’re a first-time buyer. Location wise it is perfect – across the road from the picturesque ruins of Narberth Castle, and a few minutes’ walk from the High Street.
It is currently divided into a pair of one-bedroom flats, and one option would be to rent out one property and live in the other while saving up to convert it into a three-bedroom house. But do discuss this plan with your mortgage lender and an accountant first to make sure you are aware of the tax implications.
Region: West Midlands
Average first-time buyer price: £167,181
Monthly asking price change:+1.3%
Annual asking price change: +3%
Our first-time buyer find: a one-bedroom flat within a Victorian conversion
The regeneration of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter has been an enormous success story.
This one-time industrial pocket north west of the city centre was – pre-pandemic – a lively thriving network of bars, boutiques, and bistros. If you want to live close to the city, it is an ideal urban village.
The Kettleworks is part of a wider £100 milliobn development. The Victorian building was once used to manufacture kitchenware and electrical elements for kettles, and this one-bedroom flat is only two years old and looks to be in show flat condition which is great if you’re short of time and DIY skills.
Region: Yorkshire and the Humber
Average first-time buyer price: £145,518
Monthly asking price change:-0.3%
Annual asking price change: +4%
Our first-time buyer find: a five-bedroom Victorian house
With the North Yorkshire moors on one side, and the coast on the other, the town of Bridlington is just the kind of place to enjoy the great outdoors from.
We like this good-looking Victorian Gothic-style house partly because of its scale: it has no less than five bedrooms, giving space for family life as well as WFH.
It has also clearly had some work done to it, and it is within ten minutes of beach, station, and town centre.
There is bags of potential to turn this into the perfect family home by knocking the small kitchen through into the adjacent snug, while turning one of those five bedrooms into a second bathroom.