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Winchester revealed as least affordable UK city

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11/08/2021
Winchester has become the UK’s least affordable city, according to a study by Halifax.

It overtakes last year’s table-topper, Oxford.

Homes in Winchester now cost 14 times average earnings, analysis shows.

A home in the Hampshire city will now set buyers back an average £630,432, up 8 per cent on 2020, while average earnings are £45,059.

Winchester now has the highest average house prices of any UK city, ahead of St Albans (£604,423) and London (£564,695).

Londonderry remains the UK’s most affordable city, with homes costing 4.7 times average earnings.

Carlisle joins Bradford in second place, where prices are 4.8 times average, ahead of Stirling, Aberdeen, and Glasgow where properties cost 5.4 times average earnings.

According to Halifax, average house prices of UK cities grew by 10.3 per cent over the past year, while average earnings for those living and working in them rose just 2.1 per cent.

London fell outside the five least affordable cities for the first time in six years, yet affordability did not improve over the last year. Average house prices in Greater London rose by 5 per cent to £564,695, while earnings grew by 4 per cent, meaning homes in the capital now cost 11 times average earnings up from 10.9 in 2020.

Seven cities saw housing affordability improve in the last year: Oxford, Carlisle, Portsmouth, Durham, Salford, Inverness, and Glasgow.

Both Carlisle and Aberdeen are now more affordable than five years ago,

Inverness is the only city to be more affordable than 10 years ago. The Scottish city’s average home now costs 5.6 times average earnings (up from 6.2 in 2011) thanks to wage growth (28 per cent) outstripping its low house price growth (15 per cent).

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “We can see from our research that 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.

“Rising house prices have generally continued to outstrip wage growth, which reduces overall affordability, however the picture is mixed for buyers. For city home-movers who want to stay in their area, the level of equity in their current property is likely to be an important factor in how affordable the local area is for them, whereas raising a deposit remains an issue for many first-time buyers.”

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