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And the UK’s least affordable city is…

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The place of dreaming spires and aspiring first-time buyers, where average house prices are 12 times earnings
And the UK’s least affordable city is…

Oxford is the UK’s least affordable city, according to Lloyds Bank.

It’s home to the world’s highest ranked university but many first-time buyers are priced out.

Oxford has an average house price of £460,184, 12 times (12.6) average annual earnings in the city (£36,430).

The costliest cities

There are seven cities with average house prices above 10 times the average annual earnings. In addition to Oxford, these are Chichester (11.5), Winchester (11.3), Truro (11.1), Greater London, Bath and Cambridge (all 10.3).

The only cities outside southern England and the East in the 10 least affordable are Leicester (8.6), York (8.0) and Worcester (7.7).

Andrew Mason, mortgage products director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Buying a home in UK cities remains challenging, as average house prices are outpacing wage growth. However the market has seen the number of first-time buyers at a high and home owners are still attracted to cities across the UK, in spite of rising costs.

“Over the past five years, more than half of northern cities have made the UK top 10 in house price growth, whereas over a longer period, southern cities dominate.”

Most affordable

Stirling in Scotland along with Londonderry, Northern Ireland are the UK’s most affordable cities, with an average house price to earnings ratio of just 4.4.

Bradford (4.6) is named as the most affordable city in England and Swansea is the most affordable city in Wales (5.5).

Northern English and Scottish cities make up the remainder of the 10 most affordable cities – Lancaster, Aberdeen, Perth, Hereford and Sunderland.

The average house price within UK cities has risen from £180,548 in 2013 to its highest ever level of £248,233 in 2018. In comparison, average city annual earnings over the same period have risen by just 11% to £34,366.

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