According to the Lloyds Bank Affordable Cities Review, the typical cost of buying a home in a UK city has reached its least affordable levels in a decade.
The average house price across cities equated to seven times typical annual earnings in 2017. This is the highest house price-to-income multiple since the average city home cost seven and-a-half times earnings in 2007. In 2012, the average city home cost around 5.6 times wages. But over the past five years, the average house price across UK cities has surged by more than a third (36 per cent), reaching £232,945 in 2017.
The report identified Lancaster as the UK’s fourth most affordable city, with average property prices at around 4.8 times annual earnings.
According to the Lloyds data, the average house price in Lancaster across 2017 was £160,835. They used Office for National Statistics data which gives Lancaster’s average full-time earnings as £33,216. However, Lancashire County Council statistics say Lancaster’s median salary is far lower, at around £20,500 in 2015.
Mike Fisher of Fisher Wrathall estate agents in Lancaster said the high number of people in the city on minimum way has a bearing on house prices. There are also a lot of houses costing around £90,000 which brings down the average figure.
He said new builds had made the market more competitive.
“If you bought a three-bed semi in Bowerham three years ago you could have paid £190,000, but you would be lucky today to get £165,000,” he said.
“That’s purely because of new builds having an impact on the second hand market.
“Some of the new builds are very competitively priced.”
Coun Janice Hanson, Lancaster City Council cabinet member with responsibility for planning and regeneration, said: “I’m hugely encouraged by this survey and it comes as no surprise to me that more people are able to afford a home in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.
“The city council has long recognised the need for affordable housing and has worked tirelessly to unblock stalled housing sites and introduce a healthy level of new supply onto the market.
“Coupled with the district’s success in maintaining a relatively healthy local economy throughout the recession, the increase in supply has helped reduce the growth in second hand property prices and maintained them at an affordable level. This is good news for the future and while other areas will begin to struggle to retain their creative talent due to overblown house prices, we are in a great position to grow our economy and become a powerhouse in the north west.”
The most affordable cities are: 1 Stirling, 2 Londonderry, 3 Bradford, 4 Lancaster, 5 Durham and Belfast.