House prices continue to outpace wage growth

House prices continue to outpace wage growth

House prices in UK cities have outpaced earnings growth by 11 per cent, as affordability reaches its lowest level since the global financial crisis.

According to figures from Lloyds Bank, the average price of a house in a UK city in 2018 stood at £248,233, up from £180,548 in 2013. 

By comparison, average city annual earnings have risen to £34,366 in the same period, meaning the house price to average earnings ratio is now 7.2, the lowest it has been since 2007 when the ratio stood at 7.5.

Among the top 20 affordable UK cities were Stirling in Scotland and Londonderry in Northern Ireland. 

In England, Bradford was named the most affordable. Oxford, Chichester, Winchester and Greater London were among the UK’s least affordable cities, where average house prices were 10 times the average annual earnings. 

Andrew Mason, mortgage products director, 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."

Patrick Connolly said: "While many people in the older generations have benefited from huge increases in property prices over the years, many younger people are desperately struggling to get on the housing ladder, particularly in the South of England.

"Financial advisers can have an important role here including advising parents and grandparents who want to help their children, those who have wealth tied up in their property and need income and those looking at inheritance tax planning."

Over the past five years, Chichester has recorded the highest house price growth with a rise of 62 per cent to £450,023 in 2018.

Cambridge has the second highest increase in average house price, followed by Newcastle upon Tyne, Ely, and Lichfield.