Comment: Should single buyers move up north for affordable housing?

There are bargains to be had in the Staffordshire market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme (Google Street

There are bargains to be had in the Staffordshire market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme (Google Street View) - Credit: Archant

The most affordable areas for single buyers to purchase property in England and Wales have been revealed and – what a surprise – nowhere in Herts makes the cut.

Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire tops this particular list – the average mortgage repayment on a one-bed flat in this local authority area equates to just 10.84 per cent of the median monthly wage, three times less than the average elsewhere in England and Wales (35.14 per cent).

The Zoopla analysis placed North Tyneside next on the list, followed by Bradford and Kirklees in Yorkshire, then Blackpool, Lancashire.

The next bit of non-surprising news is that East of England areas crop up at the very top of another list - the ‘least affordable locations for singles to buy outside London’. Cambridge is top, with the average mortgage repayment on a one-bed flat there costing 36.14 per cent of the median monthly wage, followed by Hertsmere (home to the famously unaffordable Radlett), where the cost is 35.85 per cent.

It’s a whole other world of pain in London’s posh Kensington and Chelsea of course – the average resident there would need to spend 82.44 per cent of their wage to pay their mortgage. Which makes Herts look almost (but not quite) affordable.

Estate agents may trumpet the joys of the government’s Help to Buy scheme while raving about the recent Stamp Duty cuts. But the fact remains that, in areas like ours, owning a home continues to remain out of reach for huge chunks of the population. Unless they give up and go north, that is – I hear Newcastle-under-Lyme – where the average one-bed flat costs a little over £62,000 – is worth a look…

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