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Hot 100: First-Time Buyers & Downsizers

Tuesday 2 October 2018 Data Insight & AnalyticsDemographic DataProperty Development

John Platt's picture
By John Platt

Every year CACI compile a ranking of the Top 100 places to live across the UK.

As well as the overall top 100 destinations, this year we also looked at the Top 20 locations specifically for first home buyers and downsizers. We did this by combining our data on likelihood to move house and household composition and lifestage.



Ten of the Top 20 districts across the UK with the highest proportion of likely first-time buyers are in London; with Tower Hamlets toping the overall ranking. These areas contain high volumes of young, relatively affluent consumers who are the most likely to be first time buyers. It is the Career Climber, City Sophisticate and Starting Out Acorn groups that are most likely to be looking to get onto the housing latter. Career Climbers and City Sophisticates make up 36% of the London population.

You can find out more about our Acorn segmentation here.

What this ranking doesn’t take into consideration is the affordability of homes in that particular area. CACI data shows that people typically only move, on average, 9 miles away from their current location; so chances are that many of these first-time buyers would want to remain in, or close to, the same borough that they currently live in.

people typically only move, on average, 9 miles away from their current location

However, it is also highly likely that many first-time buyers won’t be able to afford to buy in their local area, particularly those in London Boroughs, meaning they are being forced to move elsewhere to get onto the housing ladder. We can see evidence of this in the current market as areas such as Croydon increase in popularity amongst first time buyers who cannot afford to buy in London.

Areas outside of London that feature prominently include Nottingham, Oxford and Bristol. All of these are cities with high volumes of young professionals.


The top 3 locations for first-time buyers

Top 3 Locations for First-Time Buyers

To download the full infographic with the complete Hot 100 Index, click here.


By definition, ‘downsizer’ areas tend to be dominated by older, empty nester households looking to move to smaller homes, typically in more rural areas. This means that coastal districts dominate the down sizer ranking with nine of the Top 20 districts across the UK for likely down sizers being in the south of England, and seven of the Top 10 are in the South West.

The only district in the entire Top 20 not to fall into the south of England is East Lindsey which is located in the East Midlands. This is another coastal region encompassing Skegness and Sutton on Sea.
These areas are home to large volumes of the older Acorn groups; Mature Money and Comfortable Seniors. With relatively high levels of savings, and often a lot of equity in property, these moves tend to buy their new homes outright.

CACI Hot 100 Residential Index

These rankings are all part of our annual Hot 100 Residential Index, which was first published in Property Week in September 2018.

In September 2018, Property Week published the third release of CACI’s Hot 100 Residential Index. Find out the key areas for First-Time buyers and Downsizers...

Hot 100: First-Time Buyers & Downsizers


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