Buying house in UK city at least affordable level since 2007, study suggests

City living is at its least affordable levels for home buyers since 2007, a report suggests.

The average house price in a UK city in 2018 equated to 7.2 times average annual earnings – making the cost of buying a home the least affordable since 2007 when buyers had to fork out 7.5 times their income typically, Lloyds Bank found.

The average home in a city cost £248,233 while average full-time earnings stood at £34,366.

Lloyds found seven cities where the average house price tops 10 times earnings -Oxford, Chichester, Winchester, Truro, London, Bath and Cambridge.

Oxford was found to be the least affordable city in the study, with average house prices standing at more than 12-and-a-half times earnings in the city.

Oxford view
Oxford view

Londonderry in Northern Ireland and Stirling in Scotland were found to be the most affordable cities, with properties standing at just under four-and-a-half times average earnings.

Andrew Mason, mortgage products director, Lloyds Bank, said: "Buying a home in UK cities remains challenging, as average house prices are outpacing wage growth."

He continued: "Home owners are still attracted to cities across the UK, in spite of rising costs."

The index tracked housing affordability in 62 cities across the UK using Lloyds' sister bank Halifax's housing statistics and Office for National Statistics (ONS) earnings figures.

Here are the top 20 most affordable cities in the UK, with the average house price-to-earnings ratio, according to Lloyds Bank:

=1. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 4.4
=1. Stirling, Scotland, 4.4
3. Newry, Northern Ireland, 4.5
4. Bradford, Yorkshire and Humberside, 4.6
5. Lancaster, North West, 4.7
=6. Belfast, Northern Ireland, 5.0
=6. Aberdeen, Scotland, 5.0
=8. Perth, Scotland, 5.1
=8. Hereford, West Midlands, 5.1
10. Sunderland, North East, 5.2
11. Carlisle, North West, 5.3
=12. Liverpool, North West, 5.4
=12. Dundee, Scotland, 5.4
=14. Swansea, Wales, 5.5
=14. Glasgow, Scotland, 5.5
=14. Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands, 5.5
=14. Durham, North East, 5.5
18. Hull, Yorkshire and Humberside, 5.6
19. Inverness, Scotland, 5.8
20. Derby, East Midlands, 5.9

Here are the top 20 least affordable cities in the UK, with the average house price-to-earnings ratio, according to Lloyds Bank:

1. Oxford, South East, 12.6
2. Chichester, South East, 11.5
3. Winchester, South East, 11.3
4. Truro, South West, 11.1
=5. London, 10.3
=5. Bath, South West, 10.3
=5. Cambridge, East Anglia, 10.3
8. Southampton, South East, 9.7
9. Brighton and Hove, South East, 9.6
10. Chelmsford, South East, 9.3
=11. Bristol, South West, 9.1
=11. Exeter, South West, 9.1
13. Leicester, East Midlands, 8.6
14. Salisbury, South West, 8.3
15. Norwich, East Anglia, 8.2
16. York, Yorkshire and Humberside, 8.0
17. Ely, East Anglia, 7.9
=18. Canterbury, South East, 7.8
=18. St Albans, South East, 7.8
20. Worcester, West Midlands, 7.7