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The most affordable place in Britain to find a home is…

Wednesday 3rd April 2013

Bargain hunters looking for value-for-money when it comes to buying property, may be interested to learn that, according to new analysis by job and property search engine Adzuna.co.uk, Belfast and Hull are the most affordable places in the UK to live, whereas Winchester is the most expensive.

The research reveals that 91% of residential properties in Belfast are within financial reach for first-time buyers on average local incomes.

Reading, Guildford and London are the least affordable rental markets with as few as 25% of properties within budget.

Number crunching

Adzuna calculates the affordability of areas by looking at average salaries for the top 50 cities in the UK using their comprehensive search index of over 500,000 job ads. This data is compared to property asking prices and typical mortgage multiples across the UK to produce an “Affordability Index” for house hunters.

Bargain hunters alert

The study reveals that first-time buyers should head to Northern locations like Hull, Sunderland and Salford where average property prices at £159,286 are only 2.5 times the average local couples’ earnings. Bargain hunters should also set their sights on West Midlands cities like Birmingham and Coventry. Further South, Portsmouth is the most affordable Southern city with over 64% of For-Sale properties within budget for local salaries.

London

While luxury homes can fetch up to £50m in the nation’s capital, Londoners’ high incomes mean it is only the 10th least affordable city to buy in Britain. London properties, however, have become less and less affordable in the last 12 months with the average home now valued at over seven times average earnings. On the rental market, only 33% of properties are affordable for Londoners earning a typical wage this month.

Least affordable

Winchester, Chichester and Guildford are the most unaffordable towns and cities in the UK. A typical home in the Winchester area now sells for 8 times earnings at £439,547. A couple earning an average wage in Winchester can afford over 50% of properties in Southampton (24 miles) and 67% of properties in Portsmouth (30 miles), compared to just 11% in their home town. Bristol and Milton Keynes have suffered the most drastic change in affordability over the last 6 months, with 14% fewer properties within reach compared to Q4 of 2012.

North-south divide

Northern & Scottish cities continue to be more affordable than Southern ones, cementing a clear North/South divide. Over 73% of properties are in reach in North West and Scottish cities, compared to less than 42% in the South. The South East and West of England remain the least affordable regions overall due, in part, to an increase in overseas buyers and the growing catchment area for London commuters. Stagnant housing markets in Eastern cities like Chelmsford (+14%) and Luton (+12%), however, mean property affordability for first-time buyers has significantly improved in the last 3 months.

Rental hotspots

By comparing the markets for rentals and sales, Adzuna can also reveal that Stoke on Trent, Dudley and Middlesbrough are the UK’s rental hotspots with up to 30% more properties affordable ‘to rent’ than ‘to buy’ in these areas. The property market in Hull, on the other hand, is almost identical for renting and buying with 98% of homes affordable to working couples.

Andrew Hunter, Co-Founder of Adzuna, said: “It’s fascinating to get such a clear view of the differences in home affordability across the UK by combining the data from our property and jobs search engines. With clear indicators of house price stagnation across the UK, pockets of opportunity are springing up around the country for those looking to pick up a bargain.”

Top 10 Most Affordable Cities for Homebuyers

Name of City

% of homes within budget

Couple house price to salary ratio

Belfast

91.2%

1.97X

Hull

89.2%

2.12X

Nottingham

83.2%

2.49X

Sunderland

81.8%

2.54X

Glasgow

81.2%

2.45X

Salford

81.2%

2.83X

Bradford

80.3%

2.72X

Manchester

78.5%

3.12X

Luton

78.4%

3.21X

Sunderland

81.8%

2.54X

 

Top 10 Least Affordable Cities for Homebuyers

Name of City

% of homes within budget

Couple house price to salary ratio

Winchester

11.7%

7.85X

Chichester

13.1%

6.65X

Guildford

21.4%

7.14X

Oxford

22.1%

6.13X

Cambridge

23.7%

5.47X

Brighton

24.3%

6.44X

High Wycombe

24.4%

6.61X

Exeter

27.9%

5.69X

Chelmsford

31.1%

5.94X

London

33.7%

6.89X

 

Top 10 Cities for Renting

Name of City

% of homes able to rent

Dudley

99.31%

Hull

98.71%

Bradford

98.17%

Wigan

96.95%

Stoke-on-Trent

96.30%

Motherwell

95.83%

Preston

95.81%

Wolverhampton

93.07%

Stockton-on-Tees

93.01%

Middlesbrough

91.91%

 

Bottom 10 Cities for Renting

Name of City

% of homes able to rent

Reading

25.17%

Guildford

32.52%

London

32.90%

Oxford

34.47%

Winchester

42.98%

Brighton

46.20%

High Wycombe

56.58%

Southampton

59.19%

Chichester

61.16%

Cardiff

62.04%


National Overview


Region

% of homes able to buy

East Midlands

67.9%

Eastern England

41.8%

North East England

69.7%

North West England

69.6%

Northern Ireland

85.5%

Scotland

78.6%

South East England

39.2%

South West England

45.2%

Wales

57.4%

West Midlands

64.8%

Yorkshire and Humberside

74.9%

 

              

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