St Albans named among least affordable places to buy property

Homes available for sale are few and far between at the moment. Picture: Jane Howdle

Full-time employees in the St Albans local authority area typically require 16.1 times their annual earnings to purchase a home.   - Credit: Archant

It's official: St Albans is among the least affordable places to purchase property in England and Wales. 

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) housing affordability report for 2020, full-time employees in the St Albans local authority area typically require 16.1 times their annual earnings to purchase a home.  

This places the area in 16th place for unaffordability in England and Wales and second in the East of England, behind Three Rivers (home to Rickmansworth and Abbots Langley), where the ratio is marginally higher (16.3). 

The ONS took data on the median price paid for residential property and median workplace-based gross annual earnings for full-time workers to calculate affordability ratios for the year in the report, which was published last week. 

The average house price for St Albans stood at £523,976 as of January 2021, down 1.3 per cent month-on-month but up 3.6 per cent over the year. 


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335 local authorities were ranked, with London's Kensington and Chelsea again crowned the least affordable, with an average house price estimated at 36.4 times average annual earnings. The typical property price in this upmarket enclave? £1,313,590.  

In 290 local authorities (86.6 per cent), between five and 15 times annual earnings was required to purchase a property. England-wide, an average of 7.8 times was needed. 

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However, the gap between the most and least affordable local authorities in England and Wales continued to decrease in 2020 for the second year running.

The difference in the housing affordability ratio estimates between the two extremes was 33.8 in 2020, down from 36.6 in 2019. It peaked at 41.5 in 2018. 

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