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Revealed: The UK’s most affordable local authorities for homebuyers

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Overall affordability has remained fairly stable throughout the last decade but there are vast regional differences
Revealed: The UK’s most affordable local authorities for homebuyers

The 10 most affordable local areas are all in northern England and Scotland, while the 10 least affordable are, unsurprisingly, all in London and the South East, according to Halifax.

Copeland in Cumbria is the most affordable, where typical mortgage payments account for 13% of average local earnings, followed by West Dunbartonshire in Scotland, Barrow-in-Furness Burnley and Hyndburn in the North West.

Brent and Haringey are the least affordable places in the UK with average mortgage payments on a new mortgage loan accounting for 61% of average local disposable earnings, followed by Hackney (61%) and South Bucks (60%).

Decade-low for London affordability

London mortgages are now at their least affordable level in a decade, costing homeowners almost half of their disposable income (46.8%).

This is still below the 2007 peak when mortgage payments were more than half (52.4%) of earnings.

Mortgage affordability across the UK has remained at or just below the 30% of average disposable earnings since 2009. Typical mortgage payments accounted for over a quarter (28.8%) of homeowners’ disposable income in 2018. This means mortgage affordability levels for home movers have improved significantly by 39% since 2008 (35%).

Andy Bickers, mortgage director at Halifax, said: “Despite rising house prices and interest rates, the average UK earnings have also risen in line, meaning that national affordability has remained broadly flat.

“This is good news for first-time buyers, homeowners and a boost to the housing market.”

Mortgage payments remain low as a proportion of disposable earnings in Northern Ireland (19.3%), Scotland (18.2%) and the North (20.8%), Yorkshire & the Humber (22.6%) and the North West (at 22%), these are highest in Greater London (46.8%), the South East (38.8%) and South West (34.1%).

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