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Britain’s most unaffordable places to live – London and the Home Counties dominate | Personal Finance | Finance

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It seems the streets of London truly are paved with gold – at least in terms of property values.

A new study from Hopkins Homes suggests the capital contains eight of the most expensive – and therefore unaffordable – places in the UK to buy a home.

The borough of Kensington & Chelsea, which is home to oligarchs and Arab sheiks, as well as captains of industry and millionaire footballers, tops the league.

Average property prices in the borough are put at £1,197,249, which is some 16.18 times the typical salary.

At the other end of Britain’s affordability league is Angus on the picturesque east coast of Scotland, where the average is put at £164,076, which is a modest 2.31times the local average salary.

City of London urban skyline

A new study suggests the capital contains eight of the most expensive (Image: Getty)

Other London locations in the top 20 unaffordable hot spots are Westminster, Camden, the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Barnet, Islington, Harrow and Merton.

Looking beyond London, the Home Counties, particularly Surrey, which are home to the commuter classes, feature high up the unaffordability league.

They are led by the Elmbridge council area in Surrey, which includes Weybridge and Esher, as well as Mole Valley, Epsom and Ewell, Tandridge, and Waveley.

Also on the list are the Cotswolds, South Hams, in Devon, together with parts of Hertfordshire, Kent, Hampshire and Sussex.

The cost of living squeeze and associated higher mortgage interest rates has driven the property market into the doldrums in the past few years.

Since 2020, Wandsworth in London has seen the slowest rise in house prices at just 0.51 percent, while prices in Southwark, London, have fallen by 0.74 percent.

By contrast, Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr Tydfil in Wales have seen the highest percentage increases at 11.03 percent and 11.34 percent respectively.

The research was conducted by property experts Hopkins Homes, who evaluated affordability across 325 areas in England, Scotland, and Wales using data on average house prices, percentage changes since 2020, house price-to-couples earnings ratios, and average council tax.

Combining these factors, they calculated an affordability score for each area, adjusting for economic conditions. It argues this comprehensive analysis provides a clear picture of the housing market in the UK.

READ MORE Head north for Britain’s most affordable homes – Scotland dominates

20 Least Affordable Areas to Buy a Home in the UK

 

1. Kensington and Chelsea, London – Final Score: 40

Kensington and Chelsea rank as the least affordable area to buy a home in the UK, with an average house price of £1,197,249 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 16.18. Despite a minimal price increase of 0.73 percent since 2020, the high property values and median earnings of £73,996 contribute to its high rank.

 

2. Westminster, London – Final Score: 53

The City of Westminster ranks second with an average house price of £936,715 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 9.95. House prices have increased by 4.42 percent since 2020, with median earnings for couples at £94,172. The area remains highly unaffordable due to substantial price growth.

 

3. Elmbridge, Surrey – Final Score: 57.3

Elmbridge ranks third with an average house price of £675,946 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 8.46. House prices have increased by 4.07 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £79,872.

 

4. Camden, London – Final Score: 58.3

Camden ranks fourth with an average house price of £797,248 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 9.02. House prices have seen a modest increase of 0.7 percent since 2020, with median earnings for couples at £88,400.

 

5. Cotswold, Gloucestershire – Final Score: 59.6

Cotswold ranks fifth with an average house price of £499,606 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 8.59. House prices have increased by 7.52 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £58,146.

6. Hammersmith and Fulham, London – Final Score: 60.6

Hammersmith and Fulham rank sixth with an average house price of £724,641 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 8.41. House prices have increased by 3.72 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £86,206.

 

7. Epsom and Ewell, Surrey – Final Score: 61.9

Epsom and Ewell rank seventh with an average house price of £531,321 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 8.1. House prices have increased by 4.61 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £65,603.

 

8. South Hams, Devon – Final Score: 61.9

South Hams ranks eighth with an average house price of £432,480 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 6.98. House prices have incredased by 8.02 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £61,922.

 

9. Mole Valley, Surrey – Final Score: 62.2

Mole Valley ranks ninth with an average house price of £565,217 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 6.19. House prices have increased by 5.04 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £91,291.

 

10. Tandridge, Surrey – Final Score: 63.3

Tandridge ranks tenth with an average house price of £516,880 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 6.84. House prices have increased by 4.69 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £75,618.

 

11. Sevenoaks, Kent – Final Score: 63.5

Sevenoaks ranks eleventh with an average house price of £492,056 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 7.84. House prices have increased by 4.56 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £62,785.

 

12. Waverley, Surrey – Final Score: 63.7

Waverley ranks twelfth with an average house price of £511,163 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 6.96. House prices have increased by 4.37 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £73,445.

Property For Sale sign

At the other end of Britain’s affordability league is Angus (Image: Getty)

13. Barnet, London – Final Score: 63.7

Barnet ranks thirteenth with an average house price of £579,029 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 7.46. House prices have increased by 3.76 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £77,574.

 

14. St Albans, Hertfordshire – Final Score: 64.1

St Albans ranks fourteenth with an average house price of £553,806 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 7.43. House prices have increased by 3.14 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £74,568.

 

15. Islington, London – Final Score: 64.1

Islington ranks fifteenth with an average house price of £659,560 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 7.07. House prices have increased by 1.64 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £93,330.

 

16. Winchester, Hampshire – Final Score: 64.6

Winchester ranks sixteenth with an average house price of £504,924 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 7.11. House prices have increased by 4.55 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £70,990.

 

17. Three Rivers, Hertfordshire – Final Score: 64.6

Three Rivers ranks seventeenth with an average house price of £557,757 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 6.22. House prices have increased by 3.61 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £89,700.

 

18. Harrow, London – Final Score: 64.7

Harrow ranks eighteenth with an average house price of £502,774 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 7.32. House prices have increased by 3.86 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £68,640.

 

19. Merton, London – Final Score: 65

Merton ranks nineteenth with an average house price of £566,968 and a house price-to-earnings ratio of 7.35. House prices have increased by 2.93 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £77,126.

 

20. Rother, East Sussex – Final Score: 65.2

Rother rounds out the top 20 with an average house price of £366,846 and a house price-to-earnings ratio 6.11. House prices have increased by 7.59 percent since 2020, with couples earning a median annual income of £60,070.

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