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Oxford, Bath and Edinburgh least affordable for first-time buyers

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Written by: Lana Clements
26/02/2021
There's no prizes for guessing the priciest local authorities in the UK, but which are the cheapest?
Oxford, Bath and Edinburgh least affordable for first-time buyers

Kensington and Chelsea, Hertsmere, Oxford and Bath are among the least affordable for local authorities for first-time buyers, analysis has found.

A look at house prices to earnings ratio showed stark differences in affordability within the UK regions, Nationwide found.

In the East Midlands, Rutland was the least affordable local authority, while in the West Midlands it is Redditch, and in Yorkshire, Ryedale takes the top spot.

In Wales and Scotland, the respective capital cities Cardiff and Edinburgh have the highest house price to earnings ratios.

Andrew Harvey, senior economist at Nationwide, said: “Predictably, the least affordable local authority in London, and by extension Great Britain, is Kensington and Chelsea, where the typical house price is 16.8 times earnings.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is also the most expensive local authority in the country and the only one where the average price exceeds £1m.”

On the other hand, the most affordable local authorities include Stoke-on-Trent in the West Midlands, County Durham in the North East, Great Yarmouth in the East and Dover in the South East.

Swindon is the most affordable region in the South West while Bromley takes the spot for London.

In Wales and Scotland, Merthyr Tydfil and East Ayrshire are most affordable.

Harvey added: “The most affordable local authority in Britain is East Ayrshire, in Scotland, where average first-time buyer house prices are just 2.3 times average earnings. East Ayrshire covers a large geographic area to the south of Glasgow, but its main towns are Kilmarnock and Cumnock.

“Copeland is the most affordable area in the North West of England. While the area includes parts of the western Lake District, its main settlements are along the Cumbrian coast from Millom to Whitehaven.”

The areas with the biggest improvement in affordability over the past five years include, Hammersmith & Fulham in London, Aberdeen in Scotland, Brentwood in the East and Harrogate in Yorkshire.

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