The UK saw 154,200 first-time home buyers for the first six months of 2016, according to Halifax. The UK lender added that this was up about 10% from the 140,500 first-time buyers the country saw in the same period in 2015.

The current numbers show that first-time buyers have doubled since 2009. However, it is still 20% lower than first-time buyers that the UK saw at the peak of the housing market boom in 2006.

UK Housing: Most affordable places for first-time buyers, which has increased 10% since 2015
UK's first-time home buyers have doubled since 2009 Reuters

The current surge comes despite the increase in house prices over the year. It seems to have been spurred by the low mortgage rates apart from government schemes such as Help to Buy. "This rise has been broadly in line with a general improvement in market activity and is likely to have been helped by government measures, including the Help to Buy scheme", Chris Gowland, director at Halifax mortgages was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.

That said, Halifax has also analysed the places that are most affordable and those that are most expensive for first-time buyers on the basis of local earnings. According to this study, East Dunbartonshire, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, which borders the north-west of the City of Glasgow, was revealed to be the most affordable. Here the cost of an average house was just 2.6 times the average annual earnings.

On the other hand, Brent, a region in North London, was found to be the most expensive for a first-time buyer. Here the ratio of house prices to average earnings stood at 12.5. Other affordable and expensive locations as per the Halifax/ONS study were reported by another news report. This is as follows:

Most affordable places for first-time buyers
DistrictRegionHouse prices v. earnings ratio
East DunbartonshireWest of Scotland2.6x
Copeland (West Cumbria)North West England2.9x
East RenfrewshireWest of Scotland3x
West DunbartonshireWest of Scotland3.1x
StirlingCentral Scotland3.1x
PendleNorth West England3.2x
Blaenau GwentSouth Wales3.3x
North LanarkshireCentral Scotland3.3x
NorthumberlandNorth East England3.3x
Mid and East AntrimNorthern Ireland3.4x
Least affordable places for first-time buyers
DistrictRegionHouse prices v. earnings ratio
BrentNorth London12.5x
HackneyEast London12x
HaringeyNorth London11.6x
Hammersmith and FulhamWest London11.1x
Waltham ForestNorth East London10.9x
LambethSouth London10.8x
HarrowNorth West London10.6x
EalingWest London10.5x
NewhamEast London10.2x
IslingtonNorth London10.2x