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Two-thirds of UK residents aspire to live in the south of England, but their dream is increasingly unattainable: house prices have gone through the roof in recent years. In the north, though, it's becoming cheaper to buy a place of your own...
It’s grim down south – at least, for non-millionaires who want to step on the property ladder. People living in the most desirable enclave of London, Kensington and Chelsea, now spend 27 times their annual wage to secure a home, costing them around £1m.
By comparison, homebuyers in Burnley, Lancashire, the UK’s most affordable town, can snap up a property for just £63,677, or 3.4 times their salary.
The 10 most affordable regions in England and Wales are all in the north, while the 10 least affordable are in the south, revealed Marketing Metrix,
which analysed Land Registry data for the six
years since the recession began in 2007.
It looked at the ratio between house prices and earnings to deduce the cheapest and most extortionate areas.
The most expensive regions (in decreasing order) were: London, South Bucks, St Albans, Chiltern, Tanbridge, Elmbridge, Waverley, South Hams, Cotswold, Chichester.
The best-priced districts were: Burnley, Stoke-on-Trent, Derby, Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn with Darwen, Kingston upon Hull, Hyndburn, Nottingham, Copeland, Liverpool.
And the north/south divide appears to be getting worse. In the past year, the increase in house prices across England and Wales was 1%, with the average house now costing £162,441. But in London, property values shot up by 7.1%.
The worst-hit boroughs were posh Kensington
and Chelsea (+12.4%), hipsters’ hangout Hackney (+11.6%), centrally located Westminster (+11.4%), and the indie-kid hub of Camden (+11.2%).
The cheapest borough in Greater London is Barking and Dagenham, one of the few in which prices have
decreased (-1.3%), and where the average property costs £206,651.
Despite the stats, Britons are clinging onto a rosy vision of life darn sarf: a recent survey by primelocation.com found that 30% want to live in the southwest, 25% in the southeast and 14% in London.
Northern England, the Midlands, Wales and Scotland were considered much less favourably.