Most and least affordable areas for first-time buyers in Britain revealed

A street sign in Kensington and Chelsea
A street sign in Kensington and Chelsea
9:28am, Fri 26 Feb 2021
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Kensington and Chelsea is the least affordable location in Britain for people trying to get on the property ladder, while East Ayrshire in Scotland is the most affordable place, analysis has found.

Nationwide Building Society measured by the typical first-time buyer house price to earnings ratios in local areas across Britain, using Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

In Kensington and Chelsea, the typical house price is 16.8 times earnings, the report found.

Overall, 25% of local authorities in Great Britain have seen an improvement in affordability compared with 2015

At the other end of the spectrum, East Ayrshire in Scotland has average first-time buyer house prices at 2.3 times typical earnings.

East Ayrshire covers a large area to the south of Glasgow, with Kilmarnock and Cumnock being its main towns.

Andrew Harvey, senior economist at Nationwide, said: “In Wales and Scotland, the respective capital cities see strong demand for housing and have the highest house price to earnings ratios.”

Looking at the areas which have seen the biggest improvements in affordability between 2015 and 2020, Mr Harvey said: “The London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has seen the biggest improvement in affordability over the period, with the average first-time buyer house price to earnings ratio falling from 15.6 to 11.5.

“This was driven by a combination of lower prices (12% lower than five years ago) and higher earnings (up 17% compared with 2015).

“In Scotland, the city of Aberdeen has seen the greatest improvement in affordability, with average first-time buyer house price to earnings ratio declining from 4.7 to 3.2 in the last five years. This is predominantly due to the 28% fall in average prices over the period, though incomes have also risen by 7%.

“In the South West, the district of Torridge in north Devon has seen its house price to earnings ratio improve from 6.2 to 5.3.

“This appears to be due to strong growth in earnings over the period, which were 32% higher compared with 2015.

Cardiff castle (PA Wire)

“Affordability gains in other regions have been more modest. Overall, 25% of local authorities in Great Britain have seen an improvement in affordability compared with 2015.”

Here are the least affordable areas of each region or nation in Britain, followed by the average first-time buyer house price to earnings ratio, according to Nationwide:

– London, Kensington and Chelsea, 16.8

– East of England, Hertsmere, 9.6

– South East, Oxford, 9.2

– South West, Bath and North East Somerset, 8.1

– East Midlands, Rutland, 6.6

– Yorkshire, Ryedale, 6.5

– West Midlands, Redditch, 6.3

– North West, South Lakeland, 6.3

– Wales, Cardiff, 5.9

– Scotland, City of Edinburgh, 5.4

And here are the most affordable areas in each nation or region:

– Scotland, East Ayrshire, 2.3

– North West, Copeland, 2.5

– North East, County Durham, 2.7

– Wales, Merthyr Tydfil, 3.2

– West Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent, 3.2

– Yorkshire and the Humber, North East Lincolnshire, 3.3

– East Midlands, Bolsover, 3.7

– East of England, Great Yarmouth, 4.5

– South West, Swindon, 5.1

– South East, Dover, 5.5

– London, Bromley, 6.7

And here are the areas which have recorded the biggest improvements in affordability in each nation or region between 2015 and 2020, with the ratio in 2015 followed by that in 2020:

– London, Hammersmith and Fulham, 15.6, 11.5

– Scotland, Aberdeen City, 4.7, 3.2

– South West, Torridge, 6.2, 5.3

– East of England, Brentwood, 5.7, 5.1

– Yorkshire, Harrogate, 6.0, 5.3

– North East, Middlesbrough, 3.5, 2.9

– West Midlands, Solihull, 5.2, 4.6

– South East, Oxford, 9.8, 9.2

– North West, Carlisle, 4.0, 3.5

– Wales, Gwynedd, 4.8, 4.4

– East Midlands, Oadby and Wigston, 5.4, 5.0

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