A new report from Lloyds Bank has found that the ratio between city house prices and gross local earnings has hit the worst levels in eight years.
According to the data, average UK city house prices have risen by 8% from £196,229 in 2015 to its highest ever level of £211,880 in this year. This has resulted in average affordability in the nation’s cities worsening in the last 12 months from 6.2 to 6.6 times gross average annual earnings; the third successive annual decline in affordability.
The latest figures from Lloyds Bank also reveal a significant North – South divide.
As expected, the majority of the least affordable cities are in the South of the country, 17 of the 20 – with only Lichfield, Leicester and York appearing in the Top 20 outside of the South.
By contrast, all of the 20 most affordable cities for homebuyers are outside of southern England.
Affordability in UK cities is, on average, now at its worst level since the average house price to earnings rose to 7.2 at the height of the last housing market boom in 2008.
Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank Mortgage Products Director, commented: “House price rises in the past three years have risen more steeply than average wage growth, making it more expensive to buy a home in the majority of UK cities. This has also widened the North – South divide, as house prices in the South have generally seen stronger growth than in the North. Winchester has recorded the biggest gains over the past decade, whilst London, not surprisingly, has seen the largest growth during the economic recovery of the last five years.”