Although house prices have soared in recent years across the UK, in some areas, wages have risen faster than house prices, a mortgage lender has suggested. Yorkshire Building Society has said that in Birmingham and Edinburgh, salary increases have overtaken the prices of houses since 2007. However, other areas have seen the gap widen, especially in the south of England.
There is a strong north-south divide with buyers in London being priced out of the housing market in spectacular fashion. First-time buyers cannot get a foot on the property ladder, while people who do own a property are finding it impossible to move up to their second home.
Some places outside of London are actually more affordable now, with Wales and Scotland particularly attractive in terms of price. Manchester is less affordable now as it has become more fashionable and businesses have moved there. The BBC has set up home in Manchester, and the Guardian is also considering moving there.
Although Manchester seems to be bucking the trend, the gap between house prices and earnings across much of the north is a third of London’s average. In Yorkshire, wage rises have kept pace with house inflation. However, across England as a whole, house prices have risen faster over the last ten years, with the average house now costing 8.2 times more than the average pre-tax salary, which compares with 7.9 times in 2007.
Estate Agent Advice
To analyse the house prices and what you can expect to pay in different cities further, you can speak to an estate agent in the city in which you wish to buy. For example, if you are looking to move to Bath, you could ask estate agents in Bath such as http://www.pritchards-bath.co.uk/ what the average house price is, and they will be able to help you find a property to suit your budget.
In Scotland, the story is much brighter, with salaries rising faster than house prices over the last ten years. In some areas of Scotland, house prices are only 3.67 times the average salary, while in England, the prices of houses can be as much as 15.83 times the average wage if you try to buy in Hertfordshire. Of course, London is on a ridiculous scale, with Westminster houses costing 24 times the average salary there.