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Revealed: The places where affordability has dropped like a stone

Revealed: The places where affordability has dropped like a stone
Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

A new study looks at the areas where the ability to get on the housing ladder has declined dramatically.

It shows that Barking and Dagenham, in London, has seen the steepest drop in homeownership affordability in England in the last 10 years, according to

House prices in the area have more than doubled to £380,000, while wages rose by only £2,182 over the past decade.

Hillingdon takes second place, with house prices up by £230,000 since 2013, while median salary rose by only £143.

Waltham Forest was third on the list. Since 2013, the average house price-to-income ratio has soared by 70.76%, securing it third place in the ranking. Despite house prices more than doubling to £520,000 over the last decade, the median annual earnings of residents have gone up by £6,194.

Below is a list of the 10 areas of England where homeownership affordability has declined most in the last decade, and the percentage change in the house price-to-earnings ratio.

1 Barking and Dagenham – 100.73%
2 Hillingdon – 85.98%
3 Waltham Forest – 70.76%
4 Redbridge – 68.55%
5 Oadby and Wigston – 67.9%
6 Gedling – 63.36%
7 Nottingham – 62.8%
8 Slough – 60.33%
9 Basildon – 59.85%
10 Harlow – 59.69%

The bigger picture

The moving platform analysed data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the ratio of median house prices to median annual earnings in each English local authority between 2013 and 2023.

England’s average house price has risen by £103,000 over the last decade, with the average annual wage also rising by £7,734. House prices rose at a faster rate than earnings, with the ratio increasing by 21.73%, meaning the average home costs over eight times the average yearly earnings.

London remains the most unaffordable region in which to buy a home with a ratio of 11.95, although the East Midlands has seen the largest decline in homeownership affordability over the decade, with the house price-to-income ratio rising by 35.58% to 7.43.

The North East is the only region of England where wages have increased at a faster rate than house prices. The average cost of a home has risen by £33,000, while annual wages have risen by £7,087, making it more affordable to buy a home in 2023 than 2013.

David Burrows, head of, said: “Approximately 303 local authorities across England have seen house prices rise at a higher rate than wages over the last decade, with the affordability of buying a home falling significantly in four London boroughs.

“This study shines a spotlight on the areas in which housing affordability is increasingly becoming more of a problem. With house prices falling at the start of 2024, it will be interesting to see whether purchasing a home becomes more of a possibility for aspiring homeowners across England over the next decade.”

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