Move Over London, This Is Now The UK's Most Expensive City

Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images.
It seems like every other day there’s a new study to back up what every Londoner already knows: that the UK capital is hella expensive. Especially if you want to live alone or maybe buy somewhere eventually (because not everyone has given up on the dream).
However, it could be worse, because did you know that London isn’t even the least affordable city in the UK?
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Another highly popular city full of bright young things has beaten the capital to the top spot, ranking first in the annual housing affordability analysis from Lloyd's Bank.
It’s Oxford – aka the city of dreaming spires – that has the largest disparity between average regional pay and the cost of buying a home in the area, The Guardian reported.
Houses in the university city cost £385,372 on average – 10.7 times residents’ average annual gross earnings of £36,033.
And it’s not just bad news for the people of Oxford. Greater London was ranked the second least affordable city (no surprises there). The average house price is 10.5 times higher than the average salary.
London has also seen the fastest growth in house prices over the past five years, at a frankly terrifying 57%.
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But don’t think your problems will necessarily be solved by moving elsewhere in the UK. In fact, the affordability of UK homes is at its worst level since 2008 thanks to an unfortunate combination of rapid house price growth and slow wage growth.
The average price of a UK house has soared by 32% in 2017 to £224,926 – its highest ever level. And our pay packets have failed to keep up, with the average annual wage in cities rising over 7% to £32,796 during that time.
What a time to be alive.
If you’re willing to relocate to somewhere more affordable, however, you do have a few options. Stirling in Scotland is the UK’s most affordable city, with the average property costing £173,847, a mere 3.7 times the average local salary.
Other relatively affordable cities include Londonderry, Belfast and Lisburn in Northern Ireland, and cities in the north of England and the Midlands, including Hereford, Bradford, Sunderland and Durham. In Scotland, Glasgow was ranked as affordable, along with Swansea in Wales.
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