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Oxford tops list of least affordable cities in the UK

Home affordability is at its worst level in eight years

Hazel Sheffield
Saturday 26 March 2016 13:54 GMT
UK's least affordable cities

Oxford has beaten London to the top spot in a list of the 10 least affordable cities in the UK, partly because of its appeal to commuters working in London.

House prices in Oxford are almost 11 times average annual earnings in the city, at £364,429 on average.

London came third on the list after Winchester, with Cambridge and Bath also making up the top five. Researchers said that the London average was brough down by prices in outer boroughs, which disguise the extremely high prices of the centre.

Home affordability, measured by Lloyds Bank as the ratio between the average house price and gross local earnings, is at its worst level in eight years. The affordability of a house has now dropped to levels not seen since the ratio rose to 7.2 at the height of the last housing boom.

House prices have risen 8 per cent on average from £196,229 in 2015 to £211,880 in 2016. That average is now 6.6 times the average salary, compared to 6.2 times in 2015.

“House price rises in the past three years have risen more steeply than average wage growth, making it more expensive to buy a home in the majority of UK cities," said Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director.

Londonderry was named as the UK's most affordable city. House prices in Norther Ireland are on average 3.8 times salary, with the average house price now £113,302. Northern Ireland cities Belfast and Lisburn are the 4th and 6th most affordable cities respectively as a result.

Northern English and Scottish cities make up the remainder of the top 10 most affordable cities. Mason said the North-South divide had widened because of the latest results.

"House prices in the South have generally seen stronger growth than in the North. Winchester has recorded the biggest gains over the past decade, whilst London, not surprisingly, has seen the largest growth during the economic recovery of the last five years," he said.

The 15 least affordable cities in the UK

1. Oxford: house prices are 10.68 times the average salary

2. Winchester: 10.54

3. Greater London: 10.06

4. Cambridge: 9.90

5. Bath: 9.77

6. Brighton And Hove: 9.60

7. Truro: 9.11

8. St Albans: 8.66

9. Chichester: 8.58

10, Exeter: 8.36

11. Southampton: 8.33

12. Salisbury: 8.12

13. Bristol: 7.80

14: Lichfield: 7.53

15. York: 7.50

The 15 most affordable cities in the UK

1. Londonderry: 3.81

2. Stirling: 4.11

3. Bradford: 4.31

4. Belfast: 4.42

5. Hereford: 4.55

6. Lisburn: 4.64

7. Durham: 4.73

8. Lancaster: 4.89

9. Carlisle: 5.03

10. Glasgow: 5.07

11. Hull: 5.11

12. Liverpool: 5.23

13. Perth: 5.24

14. Sunderland: 5.28

15. Swansea: 5.28

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