Derry is UK’s ‘most affordable city’

Derry's Peace Bridge.

Derry's Peace Bridge.

It’s official - Derry is the most affordable city in the UK to buy a house.

According to Lloyds Bank’s affordability ratio - which compares average city house prices with average gross local earnings - the average property in Derry now costs just 3.81 times earnings.

Meanwhile, the figures for Belfast and Lisburn are 4.42 and 4.64 respectively.

At the opposite end of the scale, a home in Oxford, Winchester or London costs more than 10 times the average local wage.

Outside the south of England, York is among the least affordable cities, with a property there costing 7.5 times earnings.

Lloyds Bank’s affordability ratio found that the average city property in the UK now costs 6.6 times earnings, up from a multiple of 6.2 a year ago.

The report also found the average UK city house price has risen by 8 per cent from £196,229 in 2015 to a record level of £211,880 in 2016, though there are massive regional differences within this figure.

Lloyds used official earnings figures and house prices from Halifax’s database to make its findings.

It said the affordability of a home in UK cities is on average now at its worst level since the average house price-to-earnings ratio increased to 7.2 at the height of the last housing market boom in 2008.

Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank mortgage products director, said: “House price rises in the past three years have risen more steeply than average wage growth, making it more expensive to buy a home in the majority of UK cities.

“This has also widened the north-south divide, as house prices in the south have generally seen stronger growth than in the north.”

The 10 most affordable UK cities, according to Lloyds Bank, with the house price-to-earnings ratio, are as follows: 1. Derry (3.81); 2. Stirling (4.11); 3. Bradford (4.31); 4. Belfast (4.42); 5. Hereford (4.55); 6. Lisburn (4.64); 7. Durham (4.73); 8. Lancaster (4.89); 9. Carlisle (5.03); 10 Glasgow (5.07).

The 10 least affordable UK cities, according to Lloyds Bank, are: 1. Oxford (10.68); 2. Winchester (10.54); 3. Greater London (10.06); 4. Cambridge (9.90); 5. Bath (9.77); 6. Brighton and Hove (9.60); 7. Truro (9.11); 8. St Albans (8.66); 9. Chichester (8.58); 10. Exeter (8.36).