Winchester tops list of least affordable UK cities to buy a home


August 2021

Winchester tops list of least affordable UK cities to buy a home

Analysis carried out by Halifax has shown that Winchester is now the least affordable city in the country to buy a home. The average price of a home in Winchester is 14 times the average earnings in the area.

The UK’s biggest mortgage lender said that a home in Winchester costs an average of £630,432 - the highest in the UK and an 8% rise since last year. Average earnings in the Hampshire city are £45,059.

House price growth in Winchester is far outpacing growth in the rest of the country relative to wages. Halifax’s analysis of 61 cities shows that the average home now costs 8.1 times average earnings in 2021, up from 7.5 times in 2020.

Halifax managing director, Russell Galley, said: “We can see from our research that affordability is significantly better in the north and there are now just two cities – Plymouth and Portsmouth – with better than average affordability in the south.”

The coronavirus pandemic has had a measurable effect on the housing market with many people now desiring bigger homes in areas outside of major cities as they transition to working from home. The temporary cut in stamp duty, which has lasted a year, has also been a driving force behind the changes in the market.

The second least affordable city in the UK is Oxford, with average house prices sitting at 12.4 times the average earnings. Bath, Truro, Chichester, Brighton and Hove, and Greater London all follow with average prices coming in at 11 times average earnings.

The average house price in the country has jumped by 10.3% over the past year, whilst wages have only grown by 2.1%. The average price of a house in the UK is now £287,440, whereas the average wage is £35,677.

The greatest change in house prices was recorded in Salisbury, where prices rose by 36% to £392,355. Hereford measured a 29% rise, whilst Birmingham and Lancaster both measured growth of 19%.

Conversely, Londonderry in Northern Ireland is the most affordable city in the country for the third year running. Homes in Londonderry are just 4.7 times earnings.