House prices: Britain’s most and least affordable areas to live unveiled


The latest affordability report from Nationwide revealed that affordability is becoming more stretched across the country as house prices continue to rise. Nationwide used house price and earnings data from the Land Registry and Office for National Statistics (ONS) to give “the most comprehensive view at a local level”.

Least affordable areas

London – Kensington and Chelsea

South East – Oxford

East of England – Hertsmere

South West – Cotswold

East Midlands – Rutland

Yorkshire and The Humber – Ryedale

West Midlands – Malvern Hills

North West – South Lakeland

Wales – Vale of Glamorgan

Scotland – City of Edinburgh

North East – North Tyneside

Unsurprisingly, London has the greatest gap between the least and most affordable boroughs, with Kensington and Chelsea being the least affordable local authority in Britain.

Cory Askew, Head of Sales at Chestertons, said: “Since the second half of 2021, the global demand for properties in prime central London has been insatiable.

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Andrew Harvey, Senior Economist at Nationwide said: “Prices in the Vale, which includes Barry, rose by 17 percent year-on-year, reflecting a trend in Wales of stronger price growth in areas outside of the major cities.

“While in Scotland, Edinburgh continues to have the highest house price to earnings ratio, average house prices in the capital are significantly higher than other parts of Scotland.

“North Tyneside is the least affordable area within the North East, although average prices are only around four times average earnings, so this is still relatively affordable compared to some of the other locations in our list.

“The North East region also has the smallest gap between the least and most affordable authorities.”

Most affordable areas

Scotland – East Ayrshire

North West – Copeland

North East – County Durham

Wales – Merthyr Tydfil

Yorkshire and The Humber – Barnsley

West Midlands – Stoke-on-Trent

East Midlands – Bolsover

East of England – Great Yarmouth

South West – Swindon

South East – Southampton

London – Bromley

East Ayrshire, in Scotland is the most affordable area to live in Britain.

Average first time buyer house prices are just 2.4 times average earnings.

In North West England, Copeland is the most affordable area despite house prices rising 11 percent in the last year.

Country Durham in the North East has the lowest house prices to earnings ratio and includes the picturesque cathedral city of Durham.

Barnsley has replaced North East Lincolnshire as the most affordable area in Yorkshire and The Humber.

Mr Harvey continued: “Southampton has replaced Dover as the most affordable region in the South East region, with average first time buyer prices 5.6 times average earnings.

“Southampton is also the cheapest area in the region, with relatively low price growth over the last year.

“Bromley is the most affordable borough in London, though its house price earnings ratio of 7.4 is still higher than most local authorities across the country.

“Indeed, Bromley is less affordable than the least affordable authorities in seven out of the 11 regions.”


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