A guide to York for first time buyers


York and its surrounding areas are a wonderful area to live in. But with several different areas of York—each with different price points and advantages—it can be difficult to find the right area for you. We also know that buying a property for the first time is a big commitment, wherever you choose to buy it. We’ve put together this new article dedicated to first time buyers in York. We’ve amassed plenty of knowledge during our time as a York estate agents and we’ll help you find the right property for you based on your current circumstances.

What’s changed for first-time buyers?

Recent stats show how dramatically the property market has changed over the last decade. In 2018, first-time buyers accounted for over half of all house purchases with a mortgage. That’s an increase of 38% when compared to 2008.

Over the same period, the average price paid for a first home has risen by 39%. A first-time buyer in 2008 could expect to pay an average of £153,000. In contrast, a first-time buyer in 2018 could expect to pay an average of £212,500.

The average amount paid for deposits has also risen by 57% over the last decade. An average deposit was £21,133 in 2008, and 33,252 in 2018. This is the result of mortgage lending regulations, which were tightened in the wake of the financial crisis.

First-time buyers in York

pile of books

York is a unique area of the UK with quirks to its different areas. However, it also acts as a kind of microcosm of the country as a whole. We can see UK property trends foreshadowed by what happens in York.

The property landscape in York has shifted over the last few years; there were once specific price bands for both first-time buyers and key areas. However, since people now rent for longer and average house prices are higher, the landscape is a little more complicated.

To help you make the right choices, the Quantum team has put together several useful guides.

For a general overview of the first-time buying experience, check out the Quantum Guide for First Time Buyers. This guide takes you through your key considerations, including the type of house you want, what your price range is, what mortgage you need and what to look for during property viewings.

If you have any additional questions, our article on Property Buyers’ most common FAQs is a great choice. It’s suitable for both first-time buyers and experienced homeowners, and address concerns like how much to offer, additional costs and the length of the buying process.

York has a diverse range of areas which suit different types of people, like students or families. You can work out if a part of York is suitable for you by consulting our seven top tips, available here.

One of the points in our York house-hunting article is that you should compare prices in the neighbourhoods you’re interested in. To help you make an informed choice, we’ve put together an overview of average prices for York’s most popular areas. Although these averages are accurate at the time of writing, they may shift in the future. You can always call us on 01904 631 631 for the most recent prices if required.

Popular areas for first time buyers in York

York is very popular with first-time buyers. It’s home to the UK’s largest group of 18–24 year olds, and it’s experiencing employment growth of 3.1% (as shown in our article on why we love York).

A lot of first-time buyers are included in this group, though within this group are several different backgrounds and needs. As such, York’s most popular areas attract slightly different demographics, which we discuss below.

York Graduates

woman wearing mortarboard

York is home to two popular universities: the University of York in Heslington and York St. John’s in the city centre. Because of their close proximity, many graduates choose to stay in the York area and buy in areas they’re familiar with.

Heslington is one particularly popular graduate area, with both flats and houses available for purchase.

● 1–2 bedroom apartments to buy in this area: £166,250

Expect property prices to be between £110,000 and £122,500

● 3–4 bedroom houses for sale: £297,000

Expect property prices to be between £230,000 and £380,000

You can learn more about Heslington in our guide on the area.

The South Bank is very popular with post-graduate students; as such, it’s pricier than other traditional student areas. It’s one of the major up-and-coming areas outside the city centre.

● 2 bedroom apartments to buy in this area: £290,653

Expect buying prices to be between £179,000 and £435,000

● 2 bedroom terraced houses to buy in this area: £235,000

Expect buying prices to be between £145,000 and £285,000

The South Bank has plenty to offer; you can learn more about it in our guide to the area.

Clifton, in contrast, is popular with York St. John graduates. It’s also popular with young professionals who want an easy commute into the city centre. You can learn more about Clifton here.

● 2 bedroom apartments to buy in this area:  £183,103

Expect buying prices to be between £157,000 and £235,000

● 2 bedroom terraced houses to buy in this area: £210,400

Expect buying prices to be between £98,000 and £270,000

Young Professionals & Couples in York

couple making heart shape with their hands

York is a great destination for many young professionals and entrepreneurs. As well as a thriving food and drink sector, York has more than 1,500 businesses within York’s creative sector. You can learn more about the advantages York offers entrepreneurs here.

York city centre is an excellent location for young professionals looking to buy their first flat. Like South Bank properties, city centre properties are a little pricier than the surrounding areas. However, it’s ideal as a first home thanks to the proximity of businesses and other amenities.

● 2 bedroom apartments to buy in this area: £332,475

Expect buying prices to be between £139,950 and £525,000

● 2 bedroom terraced houses to buy in this area: £202,500

Expect buying prices to be between £170,000 and £287,000

Our guide to the York city centre has additional information.

Heworth is another popular area with both professionals and young families. This area is northeast of the city centre, though still very close to it. Learn more about it in our Heworth guide.

● 2 bedroom apartments to buy in this area: £195,000

Expect property prices to be between £165,000 and £225,000

● 2 bedroom terraced houses to buy in this area: £202,100

Expect property prices to be between £185,000 and £260,000

The first family home in York

child holding crayons

Young professionals and first-time family buyers frequently overlap in their buying choices. However, there are two popular family-oriented areas in York.

Acomb is an up and coming area that offers a thriving high street and several schools. It’s very popular with many different young families.

● 2 bedroom apartments to buy in this area: £180,000

Expect buying prices to be between £135,000 and £225,000

● 2 bedroom terraced houses to buy in this area: £193,000

Expect buying prices to be between £170,000 and £230,000

Bishopthorpe is a little further from the city centre, but offers strong public transport links and several independent retailers. It’s also a strong area to raise a family.

● 2 bedroom apartments to buy in this area: £185,000 

Prices range from £160,000 to £369,950.

● 2 bedroom houses to buy in this area: £164,000 

Property prices range from £145,000 to £195,000

York’s most popular areas for first-time buyers

Wherever you decide to rent or buy in York, each area offers unique advantages and strong transport connections. It is the area’s diversity as a property market that contributes to its high popularity.

Top 3 areas in order of asking price

Bishopthorpe: £164k

Acomb: £193k

City Centre: £202k

All areas in order of asking price

Bishopthorpe: £164k

Acomb: £193k

City Centre: £202k

Clifton: £210k

South Bank: £235

Heslington: £297k


With several different areas to choose from, York is an excellent choice for many different first-time buyers. If you want to discuss your buying needs with us in further detail, we are happy to help.

Quantum are a family-run York estate agents, and one of the biggest independent estate agents in the York area. We have more than 19 years of experience, and we are highly selective with the properties we take on. This allows us to ensure each property fulfills its true potential.

Take your first step towards the right property for you, by taking a look at the properties we have for sale. Alternatively, you can call us directly on 01904 631 631 to discuss your house-buying plans with a member of our team.

York Market Insights: Summer 2019 Edition


Thinking of buying, renting or letting in York? A mix of news stories, as well as people’s general feelings across the country, strongly influences the UK property market. As such, some people refer to it as a “sentiment-led” property market. To help you make an informed choice about York properties, we’ve brought together key news […]

Landlord Location Guide: Osbaldwick


Quantum’s location guides help landlords, tenants and property buyers find the right York property. We’re a letting agents in the York area that’s been operating since 2000, and we have developed an in-depth understanding of York’s different areas as a result. We’re also very selective in which properties we take on, to ensure each one […]

Properties for Sale

View all our properties for sale in York & the surrounding area. Use filters to specify search location, radius, property value and more.

Properties for Rent

View all our houses and flats to let in York & the surrounding area. Our viewings include Sundays, so you’ll find your new place fast.

Own a property?

Whether you’re looking to sell your house in York or want to let out your property, our experienced team can help.