Westminster is the most expensive area to live, costing 24 times the average salary to own an average family home. Hertfordshire and Haringey came in a close second, costing 15 times the average salary. The great North/South divide still exists, with Inverclyde in Scotland being the most affordable, with average homes costing a mere three and a half times the average wage.
While the North/South gap gets bigger, more than fifty percent of British people have surprisingly seen their wages rise faster than their house prices in the last ten years – but guess where they live? In the North of course. The city of Liverpool has seen its population double between 2001 and 2011, and this economic growth is being used to redevelop large parts of the city, with the new HS2 rail system eventually linking Liverpool with other major cities. With average house prices still below many other areas in the UK, Liverpool is an affordable area with good city links for commuters. Other areas forecast for development are the cities of Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester, which are all university towns. The increase in student numbers has resulted in a booming buy to let market. For those of you who work in London and want to live nearby, the more affordable areas, if a little less desirable, are Brent and Slough.
For the young couples wanting to get on the housing ladder or those wanting to make a step up, the North of England, Scotland and Wales are their only hope, with places like Birmingham, Peterborough and Edinburgh becoming more affordable. Living in Scotland or Wales is found to better on the purse strings than neighbouring England.
Estate agents throughout the UK have large lists of houses for sale or to let depending upon the area you want to live, such as estate agents in Bath http://www.pritchards-bath.co.uk/, with staff happy to advise on affordable properties in that location.
House prices in the North of England are now less than half those in the South, with an average house worth nearly £163,000 less than one in the South. With wages not keeping up with inflation, mortgage lenders need to be sure their buyers have stable jobs with a reasonable income, and with a varying degree of uncertainty regarding the prospects of the UK’s economy, who can blame them.