If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, you’re probably hearing a lot about house prices right now.

Last month house prices actually fell for the first time this year. This is because many home-movers tend to put off their moving plans until after the summer holidays. Which means there are fewer properties being put on the market, and fewer people looking to move. That’s why we can expect to see a seasonal drop in prices around now.

Have asking prices dropped for first-time buyer homes?

In August there was a slight drop (0.4%) in the average asking price of a first-time buyer home of two bedrooms, or less, to £224,091. But this is still about £15,000 higher than a year ago. Meanwhile, the average price of a typical three- to four-bedroom home remained about the same, at £338,757.

Where are the least expensive regions for first-time buyers?

First-time buyer homes are the least expensive in the North East, where the average asking price is just under £130,000. The North East is home to the cities of DurhamNewcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland.

The seaside town of Whitley Bay is about half an hour away from Newcastle. It’s one of the region’s first-time buyer hotspots, with demand for starter homes in the town soaring by 51% in the past year. You can find streets of Victorian houses and terraced homes here, along with period cottages, townhouses and flats.

In Scotland, the average asking price for a starter home is also well below the national average, at £135,000. The town of Glenrothes, in the heart of Fife in east-central Scotland, has seen demand from first-time buyers soar by 65% in a year. Prestwick, in Ayrshire, is the next most sought-after spot.

London is the most expensive region, where average cost of a first-time buyer home has now reached more than £500,000.

But there are thousands of different local markets, and average national or regional prices can’t always tell you what’s happening where you live, or where you want to buy.

So the most important thing is to work out how much you can comfortably afford, and factor in moving costs, bills and mortgage repayments. And then take a look at the homes for sale within your price range in the areas you’re looking to live in.

Average asking prices for first-time buyer homes in Great Britain

RegionAverage asking price (Aug 22)Monthly % price increase or decreaseYear-on-year % increase
North East£129,9032.6%12.3%
North West£165,929-0.5%8.8%
Yorkshire and The Humber£166,801-0.4%8.1%
West Midlands£188,295-0.5%9.5%
East Midlands£191,6850.7%10.6%
South West£255,718-1.1%10.8%
East of England£276,543-0.8%8.2%
South East£296,817-0.3%7%

I’m looking to buy a home, should I go ahead and buy now – or wait?

Average mortgage payments are higher now than at the start of the year, because of rising interest rates. But over the past decade, average rental payments have risen more than mortgage payments.

If you’ve managed to save enough for a deposit, and you can pass the criteria required by a lender, then now could be a good time to start your home search. We tend to see more sellers listing homes for sale in the Autumn months, so there could be more properties for you to choose from.

Not sure if you’re ready to buy? Use our mortgage calculator to work out how much you could borrow.