St Albans househunters need 13 times their annual income to buy a home

The average house price in St Albans was £520,000 last year - more than 13 times the area's average

The average house price in St Albans was £520,000 last year - more than 13 times the area's average annual salary of £39,823 (Picture: Danny Loo) - Credit: Archant

Looking to buy a home in St Albans? You’ll need more than 13 times your annual salary.

According to housing affordability figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), this is what the average prospective buyer needs to make a property purchase in the Cathedral city.

Long established as one of the most expensive places to buy property outside London, the average house price in St Albans was £520,000 last year according to the ONS, while the average annual salary was £39,823.

This means the affordability ratio was 13.06, well above the England and Wales average of 7.8. (This figure is calculated by dividing the median house price by the median full time annual income; the higher the ratio, the less affordable the home.)

House prices have risen by 150 per cent in St Albans since 2002, when the average home cost just £208,000. The average annual salary has risen by 37 per cent (£10,680) during the same period.

Nationally the proportion of households renting has doubled over the last decade, creating a so called ‘Generation Rent’.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: “Decades of failure to build enough homes has pushed house prices up so high they now wildly outstrip wages in many parts of country.

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“This has put immense pressure on our dwindling supply of genuinely affordable housing especially in areas with good job opportunities where families naturally want to set down roots.

“With millions struggling to find a stable home, it’s time the government offered people a long-term alternative to homeownership by building homes that are genuinely affordable to rent, including many more social homes.”

Houses in St Albans have become even less affordable since 2016, with the affordability ratio having increased by 3.4 per cent year-on-year. This matches up with the overall picture across England and Wales, according to the ONS report.

It says: “On average, full-time workers could expect to pay around 7.8 times their annual workplace-based earnings on purchasing a home in England and Wales in 2017, a significant increase of 2.4 per cent since 2016.

“Housing affordability has worsened significantly in 69 local authorities in England and Wales over the last five years, with over three-quarters of these being in London, the South East and the East.”