Research by the estate agent comparison site, GetAgent.co.uk, has revealed the heightened cost of low crime for the nation’s first-time buyers, with property prices in areas home to the lowest crime rates commanding 38% more than those in high crime rate areas.
GetAgent analysed crime rate data and the average price paid by first-time buyers in local authorities across England and Wales and found that areas with the lowest crime rate, of 41 to 80 crimes per thousand residents in a year, were home to an average house price of £235,163.
This then fell to 196,438 in areas with a crime rate of 81 to 120, £193,959 in areas with a crime rate of 121 to 160 and £170,884 in areas home to the highest crime rates of 201 or more. Interestingly, there was a spike in first-time buyer property prices (£200,638) in areas with a crime rate of between 161 and 200, although this remains substantially lower than the cost of buying in the lowest crime rate areas.
Safest FTB Property Markets
The average first-time buyer currently pays £224,786 across England where the average crime rate averages 82 crimes per year.
However, the best option for an affordable, crime-free, first-time purchase is in West Devon. Not only is the crime rate the lowest in England and Wales at 42 crimes per thousand residents a year, but the average first-time buyer pays £211,861 – 6% less than the national average.
Mid-Suffolk is also a good option, with a crime rate of just 49 and a marginally lower first-time buyer house price of £223,149 coming in just below the national average.
Unfortunately, the rest of the top 10 safest spots to buy will all command a considerably higher premium for first-time buyers. While West Berkshire, Rutland, Melton, South Hams, West Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, Teignbridge and Windsor and Maidenhead all rank in the top 10 lowest crime rates, the average first-time buyer house price is between 1% and 71% more expensive than the national average.
Founder and CEO of GetAgent.co.uk, Colby Short, commented: “Safety is a hugely influential factor when buying at any rung of the ladder, not only in terms of the property itself but also with regard to the wellbeing of your family both inside and outside of the home.
Unfortunately, the ever increasing cost of homeownership means that for many first-time buyers, purchasing in an area with a low level of crime is often unobtainable and so they’re forced to make do with based on their budget limitations.
However, with a little bit of research you’d be surprised at what you might be able to find at your required price threshold, both in terms of the property itself and the crime rate in the local area. These sorts of resources are all publicly available and so it could make all the difference to utilise them when starting your initial search of the property market.”