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Homebuying affordability improves in two thirds of UK – YBS

  • 11/12/2019
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Homebuying affordability improves in two thirds of UK – YBS
For households living in almost two thirds of local authorities, buying a home in 2019 became more affordable than last year, research from Yorkshire Building Society found.


In more than 230 areas in the UK, wages have increased faster than house prices, improving affordability for homebuyers.

In parts of the UK where house prices have stalled or fallen, property prices relative to earnings have dropped by more than 20 per cent.

In south Buckinghamshire, homes are 24 per cent more affordable than a year ago. In Runnymede, they are 20 per cent more affordable.

But homes are still less affordable than they were before the 2007 financial crisis in nearly half of all local authorities in the UK.


Less affordable pockets

Furthermore, over the last year homes in 132 local authorities have become less affordable than they were a year ago.

In Copeland, in the North West, for example, homes are 32 per cent less affordable than last year. Blaenau Gwent and Shetland Islands make up the top three local authorities where homes have become less affordable in the last 12 months.

While the house price to earnings ratio has risen to 3.7 per cent in Copeland, it is still far below the most expensive areas in London. In the City of Westminster house prices are more than twenty times average earnings.

Yorkshire Building Society’s strategic economist Nitesh Patel said: “In the past year we’ve seen house price growth continue to slow, stall completely, or even fall.

“At the same time, salaries have increased, which means wage growth has begun to catch up with house price growth. This is why we’ve seen more affordable house prices in the vast majority of places.”

The most striking changes are in London, where six of the capital’s boroughs occupy the ten largest increases in house price affordability.

On average, house prices in the capital are 13 times average earnings, with this increasing to almost 20 times in some areas.


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