In recent years it has become harder and harder for young first-time buyers to get onto the property market. The 2008 financial crash saw the slowdown of rising property prices, yet in most countries, they continue to significantly outpace the rise in salaries. In the UK, in particular, many under 40s are struggling to get a foot on the ladder, forcing them to spend copious amounts of money on rent.

Using data from the Global Property Guide and the Hay’s Group Global Salary Forecast and cross-referencing the change in property prices with the average salary in 33 countries in 2016, the relocation experts at MoveHub have determined the best countries for first-time buyers.

The research found that countries with the biggest property price hikes had unfortunately seen the slowest growth in annual incomes, with some salaries in decline, whilst house prices rose. On the other hand, countries with the highest salary growth enjoyed property prices which were dwindling or even declining, making them the best places for first-time buyers.

UAE the best country for first-time buyers

UAE took the top spot where average real wages enjoyed a boost in 2016, while at the same time the nation’s property market experienced a slump in value of -7.96%. The recent sharp decline in home prices in some of the country’s hotspot cities suggests that the affordability gap is closing considerably quicker in comparison to other international regions.

Expat haven Singapore also placed among the top five countries for first time buyers, where salaries grew by a generous 3.7%, but home prices continued to drop by 3.37% following the government’s intervention to cool down soaring house prices.

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Turkey the worst place for first-time buyers

Turkey emerged as having one of the most unfavourable environments for hopeful homeowners, where property prices skyrocketed by over 16% in 2016 with real earnings only growing by a meagre 0.6%. The strategic positioning of Turkey as the ‘bridge’ between the East and West makes it a prime location for foreign investors, which is subsequently driving property prices through the roof and making it completely unaffordable for average residents.

The UK the 16th worst country for first-time buyers

Unsurprisingly, due to the stagnation of wages and unbridled growth of property price in recent years, the UK’s housing market is outgrowing its wage increase. In 2016 the cost of a house rose by an average of 5.7% with salaries only increasing by a modest 2.3%.