1. ITV Report

'Home affordability in cities is at worst levels since 2008'

Oxford is 'least affordable city' to buy property in Credit: PA

Home affordability in cities is at its worst levels since 2008, with properties typically costing nearly seven times earnings, a report has found.

The average house price in a UK city has surged by nearly a third over the last five years, with the average home costing £224,926 in 2017.

Over the same period, average annual earnings in a city have seen only a 7% increase, rising to £32,796.

As a result, the average home in a city now costs around 6.9 times the average annual wage - the least affordable house price-to-earnings ratio since 2008, when a city home typically cost 7.2 times annual wages.

The Lloyds Bank study, which looked at 61 cities across the UK, identified Oxford as the UK's least affordable city, with homes there costing nearly 11 times average local earnings.

Five cities have average house prices commanding at least 10 times typical annual earnings. As well as Oxford, these cities are London, Winchester, Cambridge and Chichester.

In Bradford homes cost around 4.4 times the average wage Credit: PA

Stirling in Scotland was identified as the UK's most affordable city, with the average house price there put at 3.7 times local earnings.

St Albans in Hertfordshire, a popular city with London commuters, recorded the biggest price rise of any UK city over the past decade, with a 65% gain over the last 10 years. The average house price in St Albans is now £515,899.

London has seen the fastest house price growth over the last five years, with a 57% uplift taking average prices to £467,001.

Lloyds said the average house price-to-earnings ratio in London disguises considerable variations across the borough, with central London boroughs being significantly less affordable than Greater London as a whole.

The study used house prices from Lloyds's database as well as Office for National Statistics (ONS) average earnings figures for the research.

Least affordable cities (with the average house price-to-earnings ratio):

  • Oxford, South East, 10.7
  • London, South East, 10.5
  • Winchester, South East, 10.5
  • Cambridge, East Anglia, 10.3
  • Chichester, South East, 10
  • Brighton and Hove, South East, 9.6
  • Bath, South West, 9.3
  • Southampton, South East, 9.2
  • Salisbury, South West, 9.2
  • St Albans, South East, 8.7

Most affordable cities:

  • Stirling, Scotland, 3.7
  • Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 3.8
  • Bradford, Yorkshire and Humberside, 4.4
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland, 4.6
  • Hereford, West Midlands, 4.7
  • Lisburn, Northern Ireland, 4.8
  • Sunderland, North, 4.9
  • Durham, North, 5
  • Glasgow, Scotland, 5.2
  • Swansea, Wales, 5.2