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Revealed: The most affordable areas to buy a property in the UK

Revealed: The most affordable areas to buy a property in the UK
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Home movers wanting to get the best bang for their buck should buy a property in Stoke-on-Trent, a study finds.

In the Staffordshire city, a single square metre will cost around £900 which is just 4.11% of the national annual average earnings. According to home products store Hiatt Hardware, the average house price in the area is £153,816 – seven times a resident’s average salary.

This compares to nine times the average household income elsewhere in the UK.

In second place for value-for-money places was Wolverhampton, where the average cost of a property in 2023 was £222,927 with residents parting ways with 5.22% of their income. It will cost £1,273 per square metre for an apartment in the city centre of the West Midlands location.

Completing the top three was Newport, the third-largest city in Wales. The average house price there is £254,071 and home buyers will pay an average of £1,500 per square metre for a city centre apartment. Those living in the area can expect to pay 6% of their annual salary on a property.

At the other end of the scale is London, where locals can expect to shell out over 34% of their earnings per square metre for a place in the heart of the capital city. Potential buyers will on average spend £13,929 per square metre for a property in the centre of the city.

As house prices are expected to fall during 2024, those making moves in the housing market have been urged to consider their affordability before putting pen to paper.

Dream of owing a property can become a reality if home buyers ‘do their research’

Ryan Calvert, product manager at Hiatt Hardware, said: “Investing in property is one of the biggest decisions that you can make in adult life — with everything to take into consideration from catchment areas to future maintenance. It’s essential that you do your research before purchasing in order to make an informed decision.

“By analysing the cities across the country with the most and least affordable rates per square metre, we want to shed light on the areas where owning property is a more attainable goal.

“It’s no secret that property prices in London and surrounding areas have seen an exponential increase, but it’s important for those wanting to get on the property ladder to see how this correlates to overall affordability on the average annual wage.

Calvert added: “For those living in areas on the opposite end of the scale, it is also important to have that information presented relative to and alongside other areas around the UK.

“With lower percentages of the annual wage being spent on property per square metre in areas such as Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton, it is possible that they may now be viewed as new possibilities for those who truly want to make their dream of owning a property a reality.”

Cheapest cities to buy per square metre

City Price to buy per square metre for an apartment in city centre (£) Average annual salary (after tax £) Percentage of wage per square metre to buy a city centre apartment (%)
1 Stoke-on-Trent £900 £21,917 4.11%
2 Wolverhampton £1,273 £24,400 5.22%
3 Newport £1,500 £25,075 5.98%
4 Peterborough £1,785 £26,240 6.80%
5 Bradford £1,650 £22,800 7.24%
6 Swindon £2,067 £28,457 7.26%
7 Coventry £2,788 £37,746 7.39%
8 Blackpool £2,035 £25,608 7.95%
9 Aberdeen £2,586 £31,727 8.15%
10 Warrington £1,910 £22,800 8.38%