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Cost of getting on the UK property ladder surges to record

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LONDON — First-time buyers in the UK property market are paying a record amount to purchase a home, with Londoners shelling out almost double the average for the rest of the country.

Nationally, the average house price paid by new entrants rose to £207,693 ($270,000) in the first half, with purchasers laying down a 16% deposit, according to data from lender Halifax.

In London, getting a foot on the property ladder cost £409,975, up 66% since 2012. Deposits on property averaged more than three times the national level, at £106,577. That’s up fourfold in the past decade.

The capital also plays host to all 10 of Britain’s least affordable areas, led by Brent where an average first home is 12.5 times average earnings. That compares with the most reasonable area, Stirling in Scotland, where a property costs 2.9 times earnings.

The report shows the continuing strength of first-time demand after months of data pointing to a housing slowdown, with Halifax reporting in May the slowest quarterly growth in home values in four years. High levels of employment, low mortgage rates and government support schemes have all contributed. — Bloomberg

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