FIRST-time buyers in Blackburn with Darwen need the lowest deposit to get a mortgage in Britain, new figures reveal.

They need just £14,470 to start on the housing ladder — just over half the national average of £26,468 and one fifth of the £72,760 in London.

The low deposit is the flip-side of the rapid fall in house prices which saw the value of properties in the Blackburn area drop by a quarter over five years.

In October statistics showed that the average cost of a home in the borough had fallen by 26.2 per cent from £97,802 in September 2007 to £72,171 last month, the third worst drop in the country.

A new analysis by financial firm The Castle Trust published yesterday shows the average deposit needed (20 per cent of the purchase price) in Blackburn of £14,470 is £1,200 lower than Blackpool, the next most affordable at £15,707.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “This is the other side of the low price coin. It means that young couples and first-time buyers can get themselves a good home here very cheaply. I hope many come and do just that.”

Coun Alan Cottam, Tory planning spokesman on the borough council, said: “This shows you can get a good value for money home in Blackburn. I just hope young couples and first-time buyers come here and take advantage of this.”