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City Living Becomes Less Affordable

City living is becoming increasingly unaffordable across the UK, according to new research by Lloyds Bank. 

Lloyds Bank’s Affordable Cities Review found that over the past five years, the average house price within UK cities has risen by 36% from £171,745 in 2012 to its highest ever level of £232,945 in 2017.

At the same time, average city annual earnings over the same period have risen by just nine percent to £33,420. As a result, affordability in UK cities is, on average, at its worst level since 2007, when the ratio of average house price to earnings stood at 7.5.

The least affordable city in the UK is apparently Oxford, where average house prices of £429,775 are 11.5 times annual average earnings. Truro and Exeter are new entrants into the ten least affordable cities list, both with an affordability ratio of 9.3 with house prices of £259,705 and £274,093 respectively. Leicester (8.1) and York (8.0) are the only cities outside southern England appearing in the top 20 least affordable UK cities.

Stirling is the UK’s most affordable city for the fifth consecutive year. At £186,084, the average property price in the Scottish city is 4.0 times average gross annual earnings, although this figure has increased by 5% (0.2) in the last twelve months. Londonderry (4.1) in Northern Ireland remains the UK’s second most affordable city. Bradford (4.5) is named as the most affordable city in England and Swansea is the most affordable city in Wales (5.4).

Lancaster and Dundee are the only two new entrants to the top ten most affordable cities, sitting in fourth and ninth place respectively, and all of the top ten are located outside of the south of England.

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