The most (and least) affordable cities for property

Brighton pierGareth Fuller/PA Archive/Press Association Images

House price falls have held all sorts of stress for homeowners, mortgage holders, and investors. However, at the other end of the transaction, there is a group of people who have seen the trials of the housing market as something altogether more positive - as the properties they could previously only dream of owning come closer to falling within their grasp.

So where are the most affordable homes in the UK at the moment - and where are the least affordable ones?

Most affordable

Research by Adzuna calculated affordability by comparing the average salary in a number of cities with the average asking price. The result is an affordability index, highlighting the percentage of all properties that the average buyer could afford in the city (assuming a manageable mortgage).

Overall Dudley took the top spot for affordability, where the average buyer will find 90.9% of properties within their reach. Here, according to Findaproperty.com, a typical detached house will cost £165,000, a flat around £88,000 and a terraced house £84,000. Clearly the fact that property is relatively cheap is a huge boost to affordability. However, the area suffers a higher than average rate of unemployment, so the question of whether this affordability demonstrates an investment opportunity is questionable.
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Next on the list is Hull, where the average buyer can afford 90.5% of properties. Again relatively cheap housing is a big factor, and £100,000 will easily afford the average one bedroom flat or two bedroom house in the city centre. Unfortunately again Hull is facing long-term unemployment issues, which could make investment questionable.

Birmingham is placed third, where the average buyer can afford 84.9% of properties. This poses interesting potential for investment. Not only does Birmingham has its own jobs market, but the new high speed rail link with the south will put it within easy commuting distance of London.

Least affordable

At the other end of the spectrum, while the nation's most expensive homes are in the capital, Londoners' high incomes mean it does not make the 5 least affordable places to live in Britain.

The least affordable city was named as Brighton, where the average buyer can only afford 20% of property. This is largely because those working locally are having to compete with those commuting to London, and second home owners. This was followed by Oxford, where the average buyer can afford 21.3% of properties, and Guildford where the figure is 23.1%. Both suffer similarly from being within shouting distance of London.

Broad picture

Northern & Scottish cities continue to be more affordable than Southern ones, reinforcing the North/South divide. Nearly 60% of the homes on the market in the South are out of budget for your average local, compared to only 30% in the North. The South West is the second least affordable region overall, due in part to second homeowners driving up prices.

Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, said "It's fascinating to get such a clear view of property affordability across the UK from combining our property and jobs data. While it's clear first time buyers in Southern Britain are finding it difficult to get a foot on the property ladder, pockets of opportunity are springing up around the country for those looking to pick up a bargain."

The question, is which cities have the ideal balance of affordability and attractiveness to investors. What do you think?

Let us know in the comments.

Top 10 Most Affordable Cities for Homebuyers (% of homes within budget)

Dudley 90.9%
Hull 90.5%
Birmingham 84.9%
Stoke-on-Trent 82.8%
Bradford 82.5%
Derby 82.3%
Wolverhampton 82.2%
Manchester 82.0%
Glasgow 81.4%
Sunderland 80.8%


Top 10 Least Affordable Cities for Homebuyers (% of homes unable to buy)

Brighton 80.0%
Oxford 78.7%
Guildford 76.9%
Chelmsford 72.7%
High Wycombe 68.0%
Cambridge 65.9%
London 57.5%
Reading 57.3%
Norwich 52.7%
Bristol 44.1%

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