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Move to cities makes it tough for first-timers

People moving to cities in the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to get on to the first rung of the housing market ladder, according to the Economic and Social Research Council.

The research found that the combined effect of the rapid growth in homeownership over the last 20 years and more people moving to urban areas for employment make it increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to get a foot on the property ladder.

The research conducted in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sheffield and found they all share, to varying degrees, the problem of people not being able to afford their first home.

But it says having parents who are homeowners, especially in London and the South-east, is a good asset for people wanting to buy a property anywhere in the UK.

The ESRC also warns that it has found evidence to support the view that high house prices in London will force poorer residents to move out, making it a “playground for the rich”.

It says Londoners who become marginalised in the labour market because of unemployment and an increase in casual work are likely to move to other areas in the South-east and this trend is mirrored in other UK cities on a smaller scale.

Researcher Dr Michael Lyons says: “The difficulties in becoming a homeowner or moving into a &#39nice&#39 neighbourhood are considerable in all cities. Delays in getting a foothold in urban housing markets are worst in London, Birmingham and Manchester.”

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