It might not feel like house prices are slowing down – but statistics suggest otherwise. In their last housing summary, in October 2016, The Office for National Statistics found that although house prices rose between October 2015 to 2016 by 6.9% – that figure is actually down from the previous month’s year on year growth of 7%.

Which is all well and good, but what does that mean overall and what other trends are there that can help us understand what’s happening in the housing market? Well, the slowing down of prices isn’t happening at the same rate across the UK. The East of England showed the highest rise in prices in the year to October 2016 of 12.3%.The average home in the East now costs £279,000.**

Growth in the South-East was the second highest at 9.1% and London (usually the hotbed of escalating prices) only rose by 7.7%. The North-East had the slowest growth in England at 2.7% where the average house price is £125,000 compared with £474,000 in London and £313,000 in the South-East.**

The slowing of growth is also backed up by the reduction in the volume of house sales in some parts of the country. London-based estate agents, Foxtons have said that if the current number of sales carried on the way they had been, then the overall sales volume in 2017 will be lower than last year. A number of reasons have been given for the slowdown – such as the uncertainty over leaving the EU; as well as the increase in stamp duty for second homes.

But despite growth at a snail’s pace, the cost of a house still means that for many people, owning their own home is merely a dream. And if you’re a first-time buyer, then look away now because it has just been announced that properties aimed at you, are now costing more than £200,000 (or £400,000 in London). Naturally this means deposits have grown and the average needed to buy a home outside of London is £32,321. If you’re looking to buy in London, then you’ll need deep pockets, because a deposit here will set you back more than £100,000.***

Nevertheless, for many of us, owning our own home is a dream worth pursuing – it just needs a lot of savings. So, to help you kick start your plan for a home sweet home, we’ve got some pointers on how to save for a mortgage as well as how to maximise your chances of getting approved for one. And if it’s your first-time, then calm those nerves with our guide to first-time buyer mortgages, because we’re not just about comparing stuff at comparethemarket.com we’re here to help too.