Cambridge and Norwich among least affordable cities

Norwich Market

Norwich Market - Credit: Archant


The typical cost of buying a home in a UK city has reached its least affordable levels in a decade, a report has found.

The average house price across cities equated to seven times typical annual earnings in 2017, the Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review found.

This is the highest house price-to-income multiple since the average city home cost seven and-a-half times earnings in 2007.

In 2012, the average city home cost around 5.6 times wages.

But over the past five years, the average house price across UK cities has surged by over a third (36%), reaching £232,945 in 2017.

Over the same period, average city earnings have risen by 9% to £33,420.

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Oxford was found to be the least affordable city in the study, with average property prices there equating to 11-and-a-half times average annual earnings.

Stirling in Scotland was identified as the UK’s most affordable city for the fifth consecutive year, with average property prices at around four times annual earnings.

Six cities in the study have house prices commanding at least 10 times the average earnings of residents.

As well as Oxford, these are Cambridge, London, Brighton and Hove, Bath and Winchester.

Lloyds said the London average multiple of 10.2 disguises significant variations between boroughs in the capital.

Andy Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: “City living suits the lifestyles of many people looking for shorter commutes with much of what they need on their doorstep, but buying a city property is the least affordable it’s been for a decade.”

He said there is also a “clear North-South divide”, with the least affordable cities list dominated by the southern England.

Here are the 20 least affordable UK cities according to Lloyds Bank, with the house price-to-earnings multiple:

1. Oxford, South East, 11.5

2. Cambridge, East Anglia, 10.5

=3. London, 10.2

=3. Brighton and Hove, South East, 10.2

5. Bath, South West, 10.1

6. Winchester, South East, 10

=7. Truro, South West, 9.3

=7. Exeter, South West, 9.3

=9. Southampton, South East, 8.9

=9. Canterbury, South East, 8.9

=11. Bristol, South West, 8.8

=11. Salisbury, South West, 8.8

=13. St Albans, South East, 8.7

=13. Chichester, South East, 8.7

15. Norwich, East Anglia, 8.3

16. Leicester, East Midlands, 8.1

17. York, Yorkshire and the Humber, 8

18. Gloucester, South West, 7.7

19. Portsmouth, South East, 7.5

20. Chelmsford, South East, 7.3

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