Bristol hailed first-time buyer hotspot: What other locations made the list?


Bristol has been named as the most popular location for first-time buyers following analysis of Lifetime ISA savers.

The city has grown in popularity amongst those taking their first step on the property ladder, experiencing a 13% increase over the last year in numbers of first-time buyers.

And, according to Moneybox, which has been examining the locations of choice of its first-time buyer savings customers, it’s the third year in a row Bristol has made the top spot.

Buyers pay, on average £314,307, for their first home in this vibrant city, said Moneybox, which identified the top 10 locations using house purchase withdrawal data.

Moneybox is one of the UK’s providers of Lifetime ISAs (LISAs), which are savings accounts for people looking to buy their first home or save for retirement.

First-time buyers can save up to £4,000 a year in a LISA and, as well as earning interest from the provider, they will also receive a 25% government bonus on their savings. Savers must be aged between 18 and 40 to qualify.

Cecilia Mourain, MD of Moneybox Home-buying, said: “There can be no doubt just how invaluable the Lifetime ISA has been, encouraging young savers to plan for their future and build positive saving habits early in life, resulting in many thousands being able to buy their first home far sooner than would otherwise have been possible.”

Mourain said Moneybox had identified 10 hotspots which were popular with their recently successful LISA homebuyers.

Whilst Bristol was the first on list, it was followed by Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

Manchester experienced a 24% increase in LISA house purchases over the last year. The average property price paid by LISA home buyers in Manchester was £256,305, according to Moneybox.

Sheffield was in third place, with a 38% increase in property purchases with a Moneybox LISA over the last year. The average property price paid in the region was £215,285.

Birmingham and Edinburgh – in fourth and fifth place – saw modest year-on-year increases in the number of LISA homebuyers last year, with a 2% and 6% increase respectively.

UK’s Top Ten LISA home-buying hotspots for first-time buyers

Rank City / Region  Average value of LISA house purchase withdrawals  Average house purchase value 2021 Hotspot rankings
1 Bristol £13,159 £314,307 Bristol
2 Manchester £12,976 £256,305 Birmingham
3 Sheffield £11,385 £215,285 Manchester
4 Birmingham £12,278 £255,064 Edinburgh
5 Edinburgh £13,000 £258,399 Glasgow
6 Glasgow £11,829 £204,740 Reading
7 Belfast £11,500 £194,602 Belfast
8 South East London £14,187 £367,524 Sheffield
9 Reading £12,876 £321,569 Cardiff
10 Chelmsford £13,229 £343,928 Chelmsford

(Source: Moneybox)

South East London entered the top ten in eighth place, with a 41% increase in LISA-enabled first-time buyers choosing to buy in the region. Despite widely reported soaring property prices across London in recent years, the average property price paid by Moneybox LISA homebuyers in SE London was £367,524.

Mourain added: “You could gain as much as £33,000 in free cash from the government throughout your lifetime if you use the product as intended.

“While the Lifetime ISA may not be suitable for everyone who is eligible for it, we believe far more could be benefiting from the fantastic government bonus than are currently doing so.”

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