Are Houses in England Unaffordable?

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It can feel that buying a property is impossible for those on a salary in England. Some say housing in England is the most unattainable for a worker it has ever been – but is that really the case?

Using data showing the median salary for full time workers, and average property prices, we take a look at affordability within England.

Using the Attainability Ratio, which is Average Property Price / Median Annual Income, we can see in England an average worker needs to spend 8.5x their annual income to purchase an average property. This is the least attainable this Century.

However, digging deeper, it has been more less attainable this Century in certain parts of the country and for different property types. In the North of England it was more difficult for a worker over 10 years ago!

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How has property affordability in England changed over the last 10 years?

Using the Attainability Ratio we also look whether this ratio has increased over the past 10 years – from 2010 to 2020.

Has property really has become more unattainable for those who depend on their salary to purchase a place to live?

The answer in general is Yes. But this is very region dependent. In the North East property is more affordable in 2020 than 2010. In London, property is a lot less affordable – but it’s more affordable in 2020 than it was in 2016.

Choose the property type to see how things differ between flats and house types.

Check our calculator to see where you can afford to buy an average property in the UK.

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