Most and least affordable UK cities in 2021 revealed

Credit: PA

Buying a home in a UK city will typically set a buyer back by more than eight times average earnings, analysis has revealed.

A 10.3% surge in city house prices over the past year now sees the average property costing 8.1 times average earnings, Halifax found.

While the average city house price increased to £287,440, average earnings in these locations increased by only 2.1% annually, to £35,677.

The affordability of city living has worsened - so where's priciest to buy, and where can you find the cheapest city living?

A man and woman wearing protective face masks on a bus in London Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Londonderry held its position as the UK’s most affordable city for the third year in a row, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 4.7.

Winchester was identified as the UK’s least affordable city, replacing previous table-topper Oxford, with homes now 14 times annual earnings for those living and working there.

London was outside the top five least affordable cities for the first time in six years.

Housing affordability improved in seven cities compared with a year earlier: Oxford, Carlisle, Portsmouth, Durham, Salford, Inverness and Glasgow.

A general view of Londonderry, which has been identified as the UK’s most affordable city to buy a home Credit: Paul Faith/PA

Carlisle and Aberdeen are now more affordable than five years ago, with their house price-to-earnings ratios easing.

Inverness is the only city found to be more affordable than 10 years ago. An average home there costs 5.6 times average earnings, down from 6.2 in 2011, due to wage growth there outstripping house price growth.


Here are the top 20 most affordable cities in 2021, according to Halifax, with the price-to-earnings ratio followed by the average house price and average annual earnings:

1. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 4.7, £155,917, £33,138

=2. Carlisle, North, 4.8, £163,232, £34,087

=2. Bradford, Yorkshire and the Humber, 4.8, £164,410, £34,219

=4. Stirling, Scotland, 5.4, £208,927, £38,744

=4. Aberdeen, Scotland, 5.4, £205,199, £38,016

=4. Glasgow, Scotland, 5.4, £196,625, £36,205

7. Perth, Scotland, 5.5, £203,229, £36,700

=8. Inverness, Scotland, 5.6, £191,840, £34,373

House prices in Inverness are more affordable compared with 10 years ago, when comparing property prices with earnings, Halifax said Credit: Jane Barlow/PA

=8. Hull, Yorkshire and the Humber, 5.6, £156,424, £27,730

10. Dundee, Scotland, 5.8, £181,150, £31,344

11. Sunderland, North, 6.0, £179,567, £29,745

12. Lisburn, Northern Ireland, 6.1, £203,386, £33,138

=13. Salford, North West, 6.2, £211,903, £34,444

=13. Durham, North, 6.2, £196,274, £31,762

=13. Liverpool, North West, 6.2, £215,741, £34,911

=13. Belfast, Northern Ireland, 6.2, £205,228, £33,138

=13. Lancaster, North West, 6.2, £217,392, £35,004

18. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North, 6.3, £229,434, £36,212

19. Stoke-on-Trent, West Midlands, 6.5, £200,161, £30,698

20. Hereford, West Midlands, 6.6, £316,929, £48,048


Here are the top 20 least affordable cities in 2021, according to Halifax, with the price-to-earnings ratio followed by the average house price and average annual earnings:

1. Winchester, South East, 14.0, £630,432, £45,059

2. Oxford, South East, 12.4, £486,928, £39,220

=3. Truro, South West, 12.1, £356,788, £29,558

=3. Bath, South West, 12.1, £476,470, £39,508

5. Chichester, South East, 10.6, £446,899, £37,352

6. Cambridge, East Anglia, 11.9, £482,300, £40,492

7. Brighton and Hove, South East, 11.6, £449,243, £38,737

8. London, South East, 11.0, £564,695, £51,257

=9. St Albans, South East, 10.2, £604,423, £59,391

=9. Chelmsford, South East, 10.2, £424,690, £41,781

11. Salisbury, South West, 10.0, £392,355, £39,154

12. Exeter, South West, 9.9, £323,554, £32,635

13. Leicester, East Midlands, 9.7, £279,080, £28,725

14. Norwich, East Anglia, 9.4, £306,946, £32,632

15. Bristol, South West, 9.3, £346,902, £37,357

=16. Southampton, South East, 9.0, £310,435, £34,429

=16. Canterbury, South East, 9.0, £365,168, £40,565

=16. Gloucester, South West, 9.0, £287,600, £31,987

19. Worcester, West Midlands, 8.8, £303,132, £34,389

20. Cardiff, Wales, 8.7, £276,851, £31,946


Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Affordability is significantly better in the north and there are now just two cities – Plymouth and Portsmouth – with better than average affordability in the south.”